I loved this article, because not only did it take a nice story of the author’s good experience with a librarian, it also made a point I agree with and have been thinking about.
I love the look of books as much as anybody else, and I think they should be taken care of. But some people, especially, when getting into book blogging, take this too far. They judge people who “dog-ear” pages, or disdain books that aren’t new. This is ridiculous. Dog-earing a page for me means I really liked what the author is saying. One of my favorite books in the world, a book that, may I add, changed my life, is a mess. It has dog-eared pages. It had smudges. It has many things written in it, little notes I wrote when I was really connecting to a passage. I have underlined so many passages, and even circled particularly excellent passages.
But you know what? That’s because I took everything in this book to heart. I saw the world, my life and other people as a result of this book. It was transformative. The only way it looks the way it does is because I was taking it literally everywhere for me for a while. I love it that much. And you know what? I don’t care who has a problem with it. If I ever happen to see the author of this book on the street, (unlikely) and she gets mad, well, I’ll gladly apologize. It is her work of art, after all. But she won’t. She is an intellectual who probably understands the fact that her work spoke to me, so much that I articulated on the very page that spoke to me so. She would understand that art and literature drives people to strong emotions. She would know that I meant to mark up my book as a testament to the fact that it means a lot to me. Unlike these book snobs who get the vapors if a passage is underlined. I mean, I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t my book that I bought myself. If I borrowed it, I would keep it spic and span. But it’s my book. And I have the right to do what I want with it.