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.