Thursday, October 16, 2008

Writing in books - ambivalence 

I have trouble thinking unless I'm writing.

I love the pristine feel and smell of new books.

I "get more" from the book when I write in it. It's like I'm talking back to the author. The author answers, in a Socratic way, forcing me to examine my questions and answer them myself. Writing a running commentary makes me engage the book so the words don't just drift by.

Some books I've done this too bear a trend of light penciling and question marks, then deeper, furious impressions about the author's wrongness.

Some books I just leave touches of color in the margins to guide me back to passages that resonate. Those books don't need talking to. I just need to listen to them more and again.

I like to see things I used to think, so I can see my changes in thought. I like reading the marginalia of family members or friends.

At the same time - it feels like desecrating the sacred, writing in books.

I'm ambivalent.

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