Oh good heavens, stand back while I rant! I am constantly beset by people who write in library books. Look, clever-clogs, I don't care if you know that the author has said "infer" when they mean "imply" or that members of X regiment didn't wear that particular cap button in WWII - keep it to yourself! And while we're on the subject, don't make little notes inside the back cover so that you'll know you've read this book. Get a notebook! As for ringing page numbers, or turning down corners - what are bookmarks for? If you don't have one of those gold-embossed leather things, an envelope will do, or a postcard (not a bank statement, please). And don't crack the spine on that paperback! oh look, pages 294-97 have fallen out.
Today’s question comes from Conspiracy-Girl: I’m still relatively new to this meme so I’m not sure if this has been asked yet, but I’m curious how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?
Now, I have to admit that as a child I used to colour in the illustrations in my favourite books. My aunt used to do the same thing, and her books were works of art, but mine were always a mess because I ran out of patience before I finished. I still have my messy copy of The Little White Horse, and wouldn't part with it. And I did eventually find that I had to make notes in text books, because I simply couldn't keep track if all my notes were in a separate place. But they are my textbooks and, if I ever decided to part with them, which is extremely unlikely, I will go through with a rubber and clean them up. I once bought a secondhand textbook online and, when it arrived, it had been annotated throughout - admittedly in pencil, but I wouldn't have bought that copy if I'd known. They weren't even good notes. I had to erase all of them before I could read it comfortably.
You'll have gathered from all this that I am a preservationist of the most avid variety. When one of my grandfathers retired he took up bookbinding, restoring Victorian floras and music scores to objects of beauty once more. At which point I may have to concede that 19th-century textual annotation may be interesting.
By the way, let me assure you that I'm generally a quiet and assuming sort of person - should I happen to pass you, in the library, dog-earing a page or writing your shopping list in the margin of page 42, I may only say, "Please don't do that," in the mildest of tones. Alternatively, I may just tiptoe away, pretending I haven't noticed.
Handel's Messiah, bound by my grandfather.