Defacing books vs keeping them perfectf

Before getting into this decision I want to quickly explain the new phenomenon of defacing books what it means is to decorate the cover of a book. The difference between it and annotating is basically defacing = drawing on books primarily the cover while annotating = writing, highlighting and underlining. Maybe that was obvious but since I’m using both words and they are different in my eyes I wanted to make it clear what I mean when I use each one.

Now onto the discussion…

I obviously love books and I believe all books are special as does the whole book community but are bookworms to stingy about the condition of their books? What I mean by this is that a lot of people like to deface their books and almost every time someone posts a picture of their defaced book someone is appealed by it. I understand why marking up precious books would be appealing but people can do what they want with their books. I know the title says defacing books vs keeping them perfect but there there shouldn’t be a debate (I just didn’t know what else to call this) you should just do whatever you want.

I had been waiting to annotate my books for about two years and I finally worked up the nerve to do it! And it’s honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. There’s a million copies of it that are in perfect condition but now my copy is unique. Annotating got me thinking about how much we value books as objects and about the people who take it as a personal insult when someone draws or writes in books. I get wanting to keep your books in good condition but I also think that some people are missing out and that some people need to be more open minded. I want to tell you why I think old marked up books that have been read twenty times can be prettier then new ones.

I love new books they smell good and being the first person to read something is special, I just also think rereading that book for the tenth time can be just as or even more special. Looking at my copy of Pegasus that has pages falling out reminds me of when I was twelve and just discovering the magic of books. My mom’s paperbacks of the first four HP books have dozens of cracks in the spines they have been read countless times by multiple people, they have been the source of numerous conversations. The content of the books people love tell you something about the person, if you pay attention. The book as a object can tell you something too it can tell you if it made them cry, how many times they read it and if the person annotates it it can tell you even more. I like old books it’s like they have two stories the actual words inside them and the history of everyone whose read it.

Now it’s time for you to tell me your thoughts on defacing books, have you ever done it? Do you prefer new books or old ones? I think there both great. 

12 thoughts on “Defacing books vs keeping them perfectf

  1. This is a really interesting discussion. I’ll confess, I’m one who gets appalled looking at defaced covers. πŸ˜› It’s just…why would you want to ruin a cover? :/
    But I’ve been wanting to annotate my books for years. My ebooks are full of notes but my physical ones are pristine. I want to write my thoughts and mark my favourite parts so when I reread I can look back and think at that point in my life, this is what I thought about such and such character. It’s cool that you enjoy doing it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I understand why you would feel that way I just get annoyed by people who tell people what they can or can’t do with their books. Your reasons for wanting to do it are why I love it, I hope you try annotating or find another method that works for you. I tried a notebook it’s essentially the same idea but I forgot to write down all the quotes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve tried the notebook thing… It becomes too much of a bother to write page numbers and quotes while you’re reading. I think I will start annotating too, someday soon hopefully. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like this post, I’ve only written/drawn in a book once and it was mainly underlining quotes I liked. But I only used pencil so I could erase it if I wanted. I really like the idea of writing and drawing in your books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hm. “Defacing” books sounds like a judgment has already been made. But I don’t see anything wrong with people decorating their books. And professionals ALWAYS write in or otherwise annotate their books. That’s just good reading practice. I personally like to keep my books clean, but I think it’s also important to be able to feel you can respond to the text and take some sort of ownership in it.


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