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"Do you write in your books?" Topic

41 Posts

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Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 4:07 a.m. PST

By writing I mean, to make any mark on the pages of your books, marginalia/notes, highlights, underlining, etc.

a) Of course, how else will I be able to find the important parts later?

b) Only certain categories, i.e., I mark up non-fiction for later reference but leave fiction alone.

c) Defacing a book is an abomination, and could prevent me from reselling it; if I want to remember something, I'll record the note elsewhere, like in a dedicated pad or journal.

d) I predominantly use e-books which I can mark up with impunity

e) Wut iz a buk?

f) ?

King Monkey22 Aug 2020 4:21 a.m. PST


ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 4:26 a.m. PST

I do think the "dog earing" pages is a flogging offense but I do highlite or underline some non-fiction books.

Timmo uk22 Aug 2020 4:30 a.m. PST


Disco Joe22 Aug 2020 4:36 a.m. PST


Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 4:46 a.m. PST


Defacing books is an abomination. It has nothing to do with resale value.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 4:56 a.m. PST

Florida Tory is quite right. I hold my books in trust for people not yet born.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 5:04 a.m. PST

C – about the worse thing you can do to a book. I have taken a pass on a book that someone wrote their name in. Any marking lowers the value of the book for me.

Side note, a few turns ago I posted a thread called something like "Joy turns to ash" about finding a bunch of Osprey books in the free bin at my favorite used book shop. I picked out about 5 titles and then noticed underlines on the back cover of one. Well, it wasn't just one it was all of them and there were underlines all thru the books. I dropped them all back in the box.

Cerdic22 Aug 2020 5:18 a.m. PST

F. No, that is the author's job.

rustymusket22 Aug 2020 5:58 a.m. PST

C – I dislike the idea of writing in books under most circumstances.

Personal logo The Nigerian Lead Minister Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 6:12 a.m. PST

C. Not for resale, it's just not done.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 6:20 a.m. PST

G. A book is a tool. I will use it as I see fit.
However, many on TMP, naming no names grin seem to think that if all you have is a hammer, all problems are nails.

jdpintex22 Aug 2020 6:29 a.m. PST


John Switzer Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 6:39 a.m. PST

"G. A book is a tool. I will use it as I see fit"
+1 John the OFM

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 6:48 a.m. PST

I'm an A when reading my bible! I've got notes scribbled on every open spot available!!! It is the only paper book I read, the kindle on the other hand gets no notes or underlines at all.

Fred Mills22 Aug 2020 6:50 a.m. PST

A, for always, though in pencil.

My annotations are part of my conversation with the authors and their ideas, or sometimes just indications of momentary outrage (BS!!) or joy (EXC!!). For things I re-read or re-consult, my views often change, hence the pencil.

The annotations are part of what I may pass on to anyone who inherits them: memories of one idiot's encounter with his village.

Personal logo FingerandToeGlenn Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 6:53 a.m. PST

b, (non fiction) with an index of important points inside the front cover and diagrams and charts. Cross references and comments in the margins. OTOH, I go through my books from grad school, read the comments and think, "Damn, I usta be smart."

John Armatys22 Aug 2020 7:17 a.m. PST


Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 7:18 a.m. PST

SWMBO, a librarian, told me I must say C and stop at the first comma, replacing it with an exclamation mark.

Generally, I didn't do this in the old days. It was not about resale, but actually a reverence for the artifact of the book. I would make book marks from index cards, cutting a slot and using it like a paper clip. On the high end, the index card would have an arrow pointing to the relevant part and vertical writing on the bit sticking out the book with a reference word.

Nowadays, I use the temporary stick tabs that are designed for office use … "red tab sticking out saying 'Sign here.'" I generally have a temporary colour code – green is German relevant bits of the reference; red is British or three yellow tabs for things relevant to the upper floor of the dungeon, blue for the middle, purple for the deepest darks.

Gray Bear22 Aug 2020 7:36 a.m. PST

C Seņor

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 7:42 a.m. PST

The books I own are all expensive reference types, anyone who would dare mark in them would die a horrible death. If it is something I printed from a PDF and had spiral bound, knock yourself out.

Besides highlighting is way too dangerous….

14Bore22 Aug 2020 8:02 a.m. PST

C always, yet know my mom scrawls away with abandon to my horror.

Ragbones22 Aug 2020 8:46 a.m. PST


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 10:59 a.m. PST

I'm generally with John the OFM: Most books are printouts bound together for convenience, easily replaced. I treat those kinds of books like any other tool.

The major advantages of books over material in electronic format appear to be (1) they don't need power during daylight hours and (2) the data they contain won't be lost unless the entire book is lost.

The major disadvantages are probably (1) lack of full-text search functionality and (2) much larger physical storage requirements per unit of data than electronic files.

There are books that are not in the category described above, books that have merit as physical objects for aesthetic, sentimental, and financial reasons. I treat those books like similar objects, including not writing in them.

emckinney22 Aug 2020 11:58 a.m. PST

Formerly C.

Grad school: A/B

Library book I have right now, someone had written very useful notes in it (ship names to explain "a cruiser," exact years of modifications, etc.). I corrected the numbering of end notes where the editor has accidentally broken a single note into two notes, throwing off all of the following notes (a simple cross out 3, write 2, cross out 4, write 3). Since the mis-numbering had confused the heck out of me, I decided that it was a public service.

Also added one very, very brief note about IJN doctrine.

First time I've ever written in a library book.

Chimpy Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 12:24 p.m. PST

C but do often write my name on it if I'm going to lend it out.

USAFpilot22 Aug 2020 12:33 p.m. PST

Between B and C.

I keep my books looking like new. On occasion I will write in a non-fiction (i.e. rule book) to correct a mistake.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 1:49 p.m. PST


Greg G122 Aug 2020 1:50 p.m. PST

C, will write notes up that I will include with the book, especially rule books.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 1:53 p.m. PST

C but nothing to do with resale value. It feels like sacrilege.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 3:16 p.m. PST

TG has it right.

Personal logo taskforce58 Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2020 3:52 p.m. PST

C for regular books, fiction or not. Although I sometimes do write notes / clarifications on the margin of rulebooks (only).

Buck21522 Aug 2020 4:15 p.m. PST

F. If these books are hobby related, i.e., rules, I will buy two copies- one to actually use in a game and write notes/observations in it, the other I keep pristine and read.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2020 3:42 a.m. PST

c on hard bounds…I might dogear a small paperback.

Dagwood23 Aug 2020 9:02 a.m. PST

I am currently being extremely irritated by someone who wrote in a Bernard Cornwell novel that I bought second-hand. He tries to "correct" the author.

I almost never write in my books, although I have a WRG medieval book where I have added notes on Welsh history, and have just added dates to the images rather than have to look them up on the next page. I might even add the names of the kings in power at the time …

Green Tiger24 Aug 2020 12:33 a.m. PST

I correct errors…

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2020 5:56 a.m. PST

As above I'm a solid C if it's a fiction book (it's a religious thing), but I use little fluorescent marker strips from my local office supplies shop on my factual books. I write on a shorthand note and place it in the book to find info quicker. Very useful for odd rule books I've not got around to scanning and turning into Word documents.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2020 7:21 a.m. PST

Since I mainly read in the morning on the throne, I use little scraps of toilet paper to mark the pages where I find something interesting. Years later it's kinda like playing Where's Waldo to figure out what I found so important.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Aug 2020 8:46 a.m. PST

You just need to upgrade your venue …


138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2020 8:19 a.m. PST


Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2020 4:24 p.m. PST

I stand with the OFM, although not with fiction.

Even my bibles are marked for reference.

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