These Are The Days

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#MicroblogMondays: Writing in Books – Yes or No?

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I started reading a memoir this weekend called, “God and Jetfire” by Amy Seek. She’s a birthmother and this book is the story of her pregnancy and the decision to place her child in an open adoption. I have no preconceived notions and I’m only about 100 pages in so far, but it’s stirring up a lot of different feelings. I’m curious how this woman’s experience will differ from or run parallel to my own experiences. Some of her words make me think yes! And others elicit a great big nope!

I’ll definitely post a review once I finish, but in the meantime, I was struck by something else. I find myself doing something I haven’t done in a while. I’ve begun writing in the text and in the margins of the book. PROFUSELY. I just feel the need to underline or circle or highlight a passage that made me stop in my tracks. Or jot my thoughts in the margins so I can remember what I felt at that moment. Maybe it’s the topic, or maybe it’s a long-forgotten habit that I’ve since picked up again.

The last time I wrote in a book so furiously was when I read “Eat, Pray, Love.” I was going through some stuff at the time and Elizabeth Gilbert’s book really spoke to me. (But omg how can anything Elizabeth Gilbert writes *not* speak to people, amiright?)

So I’m curious. Do you write in books? Are you a highlighter or a notetaker? Or is writing in books a kind of sacrilege? Is it the worst kind of defamation and graffiti?

To me, notes in the margins, highlighted text, and dog-eared pages are signs that I’ve enjoyed the book and more importantly, that I’ve learned something. I revere books, but I’m totally cool with “personalizing them” in this way. What do you think?

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This post is part of #MicroBlogMondays. Head over to Stirrup Queens to find out more. 

8 Comments

  1. I borrow most books that I read, so I don’t write in the books. The books that I do own I usually pass along to others when I finish. I don’t think I’ve written in a book since college, but I can understand the impulse to highlight passages that speak to you.

    • Kim

      March 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      I almost feel like I *have* to acknowledge the power of a passage or record a thought that I’m having while reading. The irony is that I adore books and I want to keep them as perfect as possible, and yet I can’t help but write in them sometimes 🙂

  2. I am a write in the books sort of person. Especially non-fiction, but also fiction at times. I’ll underline sentences I love. I usually use a ball point pen, though I’ll use a highlighter on textbooks.

    • Kim

      March 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Yes – with non-fiction I highlight passages or record thoughts. With fiction, I underline or highlight beautifully-crafted sentences in the hope that I can absorb some of the artistry of writing.
      Thanks for starting Microblog Mondays – it’s forcing me to write more 🙂

  3. Argh! I love books, but don’t write in them. I hate to mark a beautiful book. But perhaps it comes from growing up reading mainly library books, which had to be kept pristine.

    Besides, if I write in them I can never find the bit I wanted when I want it, so it has always felt pointless to me. If I really want to remember something, I take notes! E-books have made it so much easier, because I can highlight passages, then easily find them by going to the Notes section. I love doing that, and do it especially with books that speak to me in the way this book is doing for you. I’m doing that at a moment, for a book I’m going to blog about this week.

  4. When I read for pleasure, I rarely mark up books. I’m so weird about trying to keep things new. It’s antithetical to loving a book, I know.

    Textbooks I highlight.

    I’ll be watching for your review! I get the yup/nope thing.

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