Discussion: Writing in Books?


I used to be so adamant about always keeping my books in prime condition. I wanted them to always look shiny and new and I’d always pride myself when the spines of my books were never cracked, the cover never bent, the pages never folded. Over the past year, I’ve been asking myself, why? It’s so hollow, I think. Now, if I see one of my books that’s in perfect condition, often, it’s a book I didn’t enjoy. Of course, that doesn’t mean I go out of my way to destroy them, but I’ve stopped caring about keeping the book barely cracked open so as not to damage the spine. It shows that it’s been read.

Naturally, whether a book is “damaged” or not, isn’t really that big of a deal, but what I’m here to discuss is writing in them. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve written in a book when it wasn’t for school. And when I did, it was usually the faintest line drawn in pencil under a sentence that I liked. It started, when I borrowed a book from my friend and found pages she’d highlighted and underlined. It was so interesting to see parts that she’d enjoyed.

Then, months later, I was rereading I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (this was my third to reading it) and I found it so empty. This is one of my favorite books of all time and yet there was nothing in the physical copy that showed that. I remember reading it and feeling this urge to grab a pencil and add my thoughts. I was a bit nervous at first, tracing barely the smallest line under a sentence I liked in pencil, but as the book went on, I grew bolder. I started adding exclamation marks, comments, boxing passages that I enjoyed. And you know what? I loved it. It made the book and what it meant to me become much more vivid and now when I look at it, I can tell which parts were my favorites, what characters did that irritated me or that I loved. And if I pass it on to someone else, they can get that insight as well. I haven’t been able to do that recently since the last two book I read have been my sister’s, but the next book I read that’s mine, I’m going to annotate all over it if I want to. Maybe I’ll write in pen or highlighter. I’ll add comments and annotate as I go along. Who knows?

What do you think? Do you like to write all over the pages of a book or do you prefer it to be in perfect condition?

4 thoughts on “Discussion: Writing in Books?

  1. Andrea says:

    I don’t keep all my books in perfect condition (some of them do have cracked spines), but I never wrote or highlighted stuff in them either. The thought didn’t sit well with me, but after reading this I’m wondering why that is… I see your point in making the book much more personal, adding character, I just never saw it that way before. I might try it with the next book I read to see if it’s something for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Valeria Keuser says:

      I know how you feel! I was always so uncomfortable with writing in books but over the past months I started asking myself why. It’s not like i was going to do anything with the books anyway. I’m probably not going to write in ever book of course, but if I find something interesting, I’ll definitely make a note.
      I’m glad this post got you to think about it.
      xx Valeria

      Liked by 1 person

      • Andrea says:

        I took the first step and scribbled a small note in the book I’m currently reading! I never thought of myself as a brave person, but that small pencil note took real courage! 😛 I’ll be ready to fight a dragon next!
        The best thing about it is definitely that I feel like the book is much more personal now. It’s actually MY book now instead of just some anonymous book that could belong to anyone.
        Haha, your post has actually been life changing, so thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Valeria Keuser says:

        that’s awesome! haha i totally know what you mean it’s weird to finally do something you’ve always avoided doing. It makes me so happy that you went out and did it!


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