Jeez, just what I needed...another outrage that demands my attention, energy, and blogging time to complain about.
Now I'm forced to react to an opinion piece in yesterday's Oregonian that was horribly, insanely, unforgivably wrong:
Douglas Yocum's ridiculous "Spare the scribbles and leave those pages pristine." Is he serious? Is this a joke, a put-on?
Don't ruin books by writing in them.
More books probably are ruined at Christmas than any other time of the year. Instead of buying a gift card, parents, grandparents and friends jot down a holiday greeting in the front endpapers of the book.
This is a no-no.
...Sadly, there are worse book sins than signatures. Some owners deface books by writing on the edges, scratching notes in the margins, underscoring or leaving check marks so information can be found easier at a later time.
Hey, Douglas, Argh! back at you. I hope this drives you crazy -- photos of my copy of one of the best 2011 non-fiction books, Daniel Kahheman's terrific "Thinking, Fast and Slow."
I highlight passages on almost every page.
Plus, I write notes on blank pages in the back of the book. Just like my mother did. Just like I hope my daughter does. And just like I'll be teaching my granddaughter to do as her "book-defacing" (according to Dwight) duty.
I use my highlighter to put "!" marks by passages I like or agree with. In the margin I also put "?" by passages I don't like or disagree with. Sometimes "!!!" or "???" Like I said, my mother was a habitual book scribbler, and I'm proud to be continuing the tradition.
But like I said, maybe Douglas isn't serious. I can't believe he is, because every book lover I've known has considered pages to be a conversation pit, not a lecture hall. Reading isn't passive listening; it is a conversation between the author and me.
I enjoy talking back with my highlighter and pen. I'm pretty sure almost every author of the books I read appreciates my conversing with him/her. If Douglas doesn't, tough.
Feel free to comment on this blog post if you read it, Douglas. You can even print it out and scribble "Stupid!" all over it. I won't mind.