I’ve always had this issue with people writing in books. I can’t believe people would deface something so amazing as a book. Yeah, I know, I’m a bit odd. Especially now that I’ve started writing in the margins.
I don’t do it often. Usually it’s in books that are not terribly important in the scope of things. A paperback here, or text book there. But I’ve found it quite useful for writing down definitions of words so that the next time around I won’t have to look it up again. I’m sorry, I don’t use nonplussed much, and I still think the meaning of that word is at odds with the word itself. Same with ‘sangfroid’. I’ve read this word in one of my favorite paperbacks, and I still forget it each time. The definition is in the margin now.
However, when it comes to notebooks and journals, it’s open season for writing in the margins. I doodle, sometimes, I put notes, song lyrics, song titles, movies I want to see. Open season. Notebook paper is another area I write in the margins. There is so much extra room to fill in a thought or idea. Why waste paper?
I’m also quite famous for writing out to the margin then turning the paper sideways to continue up the side. I’ll spiral around and loop up the sides, and sometimes across the top if I have a long thought. One of my older girlfriends used to do that as well. I’m not sure other writer’s do it, but I certainly do.
There is the story of the Peabody sisters, Elizabeth, Mary Mann (wife of Horace Mann) and Sophia Hawthorne (wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne), who would write letters down the page, then to conserve paper, flip the paper around 180 degrees and write between the spaces made in the lines of the previous text. I tried that once with Mrs. Austen, and fortunately I put directional arrows. It’s incredibly hard to read!
I think margins make much more sense. I’m starting to want to make notes in books I own, for researching and for ideas later on. I’ve gotten lots of inspiration from certain books, and I want to make notes for later reference, but I still find it hard when I hate to deface a book.
Well, I can understand why people write in books. Most of the time. Occasionally I shake my head.