I want to talk about writing or underlining passages in your books, is this something you do? I feel as though this will be another divisive topic in the bookish community and I wanted to hear all of your opinions on the matter!
Personally, for the most part I don’t underline, highlight or write in my books. I think the only time I have ever made notes in a book was in Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut. I think this book is the exception is because I bought it for the sole purpose of writing a book report on it in high school. So it was because of the fact that I was buying it for school, where I needed specific lines highlighted that I could justify underlining passages.
It just so happens that this is one of my favourite books which I recompensed to everyone I know. Now I normally wouldn’t mind sharing my book with someone, but I have lent this book to my boyfriend without realizing it was highlighted, and he had some fun showing me what my 17 year old self thought were profound quotes. Now it’s Vonnegut so the quotes arn’t bad at all, but it was an odd selection of passages.
While I don’t personally mark my pages, because of I suppose an appreciation of the clean look of a blank page, I don’t have a visceral reaction to this practice as I know many people do. In fact, when I buy secondhand books I always like to see some part of the former owner in the pages.
In particular, I always think that cover inscriptions are a lovely practice. It just adds such a nice personal touch to the gift of a book, and gives the book such charm as a secondhand reader.
I also think that highlighting or writing notes in books would be quite fun if you had a group of friends with you shared your books with regularly. For example it would be a fun ritual to highlight bits that you think would another person would enjoy. I also can see a fair bit of utility in writing notes in bookclub books, that would help you in discussions!
So that was a bit of a ramble, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on writing/ underlining in books? Do you do it? If so when? Does it make you cringe?