Marking Up Books

I like reading and while I read more on an e-reader than I used to, I still prefer the printed kind and with that comes some old fashioned thoughts about how books are treated. I’m on the flight to Seattle as I write this and I glanced across the aisle to see a man circling and underlining some stuff with a blue ink pen. Disgraceful! Sort of.

I don’t write in books, even with a highlighter (not counting workbooks, etc), because I was taught not to, along with not folding corners down to save my place, though I do from time to time lay a book open face down instead of using a bookmark. All those are designed to extend the life of the book and not intrude on the experience of the next reader, which I guess doesn’t matter as much if you’re going to be the only reader.

Thinking about the ebook angle, I still don’t expect to do much highlighting, but I wonder about the value of annotating thoughts when I read something I find interesting. What would it be like to come back to those years or decades later? Or what would it be like for my daughters to read or hear what I thought about a book years when they are further along in life. You could blog it or write it in a diary, but the immediacy/linkage of having it right there, that could be interesting.

Being a data guy,how would that get backed up? Archived and passed along to my family?

As far as the guy with the blue ink pen,as long as it not one of my books, who cares? He’s reading, and that’s better than not by a long way.