That is a question that would make my mother be like “ommmmmmmg how did I raise you girl?” but to me, it is THE million dollar question. I thought it would be an extremely interesting topic for another discussion post and for that one, I will share with you pros and cons of writing on your books, and my own in-the-middle choice when it comes to it. As always, I would be really happy to read your thoughts on the topic and to really dive into the conversation with you all. Ready? Let’s go!
Pros of writing on your books
You remember better
This one is probably one of the most obvious reasons why writing on your books might be a great idea. It works for all types of books: textbooks, novels etc. Usually, I think that we tend to consider textbooks as “a thing to remember” but to be honest, I also want to remember the novels I have read and quite often, I realize that I do not. Writing on your books (your thoughts, quotes etc.) might help a lot with remembering. However, if you are totally against writing on a book, you can always write a review or a summary in order to go back to it later.
You can get closer to the written material
To me, this one is huge. I feel like when you write on your book, it really becomes yours. Not that books with no written stuff on them aren’t “yours”, but a book you have written on has a part of you in it. I think it is because I love buying books second-hand and seeing someone’s beautiful handwriting on it: it gives depth to the book in my opinion. Moreover, I do think that the librarian in me is one of the reasons why I like writing on some of my books: to me, it is the main difference between a book I borrowed at work and a book I bought for myself. On the library’s books, I (obviously!) do not write so I love creating a difference between those books and mine by writing on them.
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Cons of writing on your books
What if books “had a soul”?
I know that it can all sound a bit “cheesy” but as I referred to in that post about decluttering books, many people do have a special relationship with their books. Thus, writing on them may feel really outrageous as to them, the book is not just any object but an almost sacred one. In that respect, many people choose not to write on books to preserve the sacred object they are.
Would you write on works of art?
A book is a piece of literature, the same way a painting is a piece of pictural art. Of course, most books get printed thousands of time and are thus not as unique as a painting. However, they still have this feeling of “art” to them and writing on them can easily get disturbing. Moreover, some books are definitely rare and some others, with time, have become so old that they became not only a piece of art but a piece of Heritage. That is one of the reasons why writing on books may be a weird idea to some people.
On people who do a little bit of both…
To me, the choice depends on the type of book I am reading (textbook, novel, old book etc.). I will easily write on my textbooks and even on most novels in order to really get accustomed to the written material and to make it “mine”. However, I would never be able to write on an old book – even if it looks terrible or average – as the librarian in me just can’t do that to a piece fo written Heritage. Thus, I do think that even though we tend to be more “one team” or “the other”, we may also be somewhere “in the middle”, figuring out what to do with each individual book.
I do hope you loved this post and you did recognize yourself in some of the possibilities mentioned. If you want to write about your thoughts or share other pros and cons of writing on books with us in the comments, feel free to do it as it is the primary goal of today’s discussion post.
I wish you the best of all days,