Booking Through Thursday: Preservatives?


Today’s Booking Through Thursday comes from Conspiracy-Girl:
I’m curious how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

To me, writing in a book — especially a novel (or for those of you who’ll get it: fiction novel) — is tantamount to taking a Sharpie and writing on my face. While I’m awake.

I mean, really. Okay. You’ve got to make notes. You’ve been struck deeply by this book. I get that. That’s a good thing. That’s what we want.

But don’t forget that you’re holding a representation of something that someone spent a lot of time crafting. That someone else spent (hopefully) a good deal of attention on, editing. Not to mention the typesetters (do they still use those?), the agents, the muckety-mucks who hold meetings and discuss how they’re going to help this book succeed (does that still happen? Hey, I warned you I was cranky. Oh, no, I didn’t. I deleted that part of the post. Sorry. Okay, then. Watch out. I’m cranky.)…

So now you’re writing on something that a whole slew of people worked on. People have hopes, dreams, and mortgage payments riding on this. And you’re turning it into your own personal notepad.

Really, take a Sharpie. Deface me.

Of course, I hear Trevor in the background, mocking me. He thinks that if you write in a book and then want to do an online trade with it or something… well, it’s possible no one will want it; most people don’t want books that have been written in. Maybe instead of trading for it, the person who wants to read it will go out and buy it instead.

That helps sales. That’s a good thing.

So maybe… when you write on my face with a Sharpie, slip a buck in my pocket for royalties, will ya?

Okay. In an effort to alleviate the crankies, I’m gonna go work on the follow-up to Trevor’s Song now. Writing always makes me feel better, and I ran down to the mall today, only to be ignored by the help in a certain cosmetics store. That took up valuable writing time. And some of you complain that I don’t reveal enough of myself in my Thirteens. Hello? Do you really want more of these vile crankies?



  1. LisaMM

    November 15, 2007 11:09 pm

    I see your point, but when I’ve paid for the book, it’s mine and I feel like I can do what I want with it, KWIM? I don’t deface public property or the books of others, only the paperback books I read for my bookclub. If it’s a book I love, I’ll buy a second pristine copy to display or lend out.

  2. gautami tripathy

    November 16, 2007 12:21 am

    Cranky? I don’t think so. In fact you brought out the insight about authors. BR/BR/Books are precious and have to be taken care of.

  3. Breeni Books

    November 16, 2007 12:47 am

    Eek! I’m afraid!BR/BR/Happy BTT and I hope you feel better SOON!

  4. Literary Feline

    November 16, 2007 8:03 am

    I was feeling a bit cranky yesterday, so I know how you feel! BR/BR/I do not mind if a person chooses to write in a book that he or she owns and will keep, but if a book is being given away, sold, traded or is a loaner, I think it’s common courtesy to keep it clean. There are times when I do not mind the footprints–when it’s someone close to me I am willing to share my reading experience with, but in general, writing in the margins and underlining or what have you is very distracting.

  5. Wylie Kinson

    November 16, 2007 11:46 am

    Good topic, SHG! Definite food for thought.BR/Personally, I’m with on the defacement issue. BR/BUT – on my keeper shelf, I do have a few books with notes/bookmarks/dog-earred pages because as I writer, I refer to them for pointers. Sarah Dunant’s descriptions are amazing – dog earred. Eve Silver’s sexual tension – underlined. Nora Robert’s emotional ‘coupling’ – bookmarked.BR/But I wouldn’t let them off my shelf anyway 😀


    November 16, 2007 2:25 pm

    Oooh, bad customer service makes me cranky too! And I hate writing in books – I’ll highlight and use those little sticky page markers. If notes are necessary they make these fancy things called “Notebooks” and they usually cost less than a buck ;-0BR/BR/Happy Friday! 😛

  7. pussreboots

    November 16, 2007 3:17 pm

    I’m with breeni. Eek. Happy BTT.

  8. Jill

    November 16, 2007 4:11 pm

    I hate it so much when I had to write in book during university. I find it to be a shame, but I had to do it if I wanted a good note!BR/And I take your offer on the shopping!! And Trevor did mention that he would pay for some clothes of mine, but I would agree only if he takes consideration of what I told him then!!

  9. Jean-Luc Picard

    November 16, 2007 4:47 pm

    Books should always be kept clean!BR/BR/Michele sent me here.

  10. Thomma Lyn

    November 17, 2007 11:18 am

    Hmmmm, follow-up to ITrevor’s Song/I sounds delightful! Have I mentioned I really, really, Ireally/I want to read ITrevor’s Song/I? ;-D And I grin from ear to ear at the thought of a follow-up.BR/BR/That’s a very interesting question — when I was younger, I used to be more of a Footprint Leaver, but now I tend to be a Preservationist. If I want to make notes, I type them into a computer file. But when I was a kiddo, a teen, and a young woman, I was the queen of dogeared pages and note-scribbling. Sometimes even *gasp* doodling! :-DBR/BR/Writing always makes me feel better, too! I was cranky myself yesterday, then I cranked out some serious verbiage on my rough-draft-in-progress, and I went from “cranky” to “cranked!” 😀

  11. Jill

    November 17, 2007 8:33 pm

    There is some Rhian celebration at my blog tonight!!

  12. BreadBox

    November 24, 2007 5:18 pm

    I am in two minds about writing in books — I don’t do it myself: I’d no more write in a book than turn down the corner of a page, or fold the dustjacket into a paper crane.BR/A the same time, I know people who do see a need to emphasize words, thoughts, to draw out the storyline for themselves, and so long as they never share their copy of the book with another soul, I am okay with that. But to share with another that which you found important is rude, and idiotic.BR/BR/Michele sent me today,BR/N.

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