Friday, November 16, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Footprint Leaver or Preservationist?

Yay, I have some extra time this morning to do the BTT meme:

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?"

In fiction books, I'm generally a Preservationist (though that does not extend to turning down the corners of pages to mark my place; I know, it's slovenly). The only time I'll mark up a fiction book is if I find a passage I think is particularly clever or beautifully written, and then I'll underline or put a big star next to it.

In non-fiction books, I'm a Footprint Leaver. I make notes to myself, questions, responses to theories, etc. They feel more like textbooks to me, and I wrote all over those.

Edited to add: I have to make a distinction here: I never, EVER, write in library books, or of course books I've borrowed. Footnoting is strictly for books I own.


  1. Anonymous7:38 AM

    I'm definitely a preservationist. Camille borrowed a paperback from me once and said, "Do you even read these books?!" I try hard not to crack the spines, fold the pages, etc. You can tell which books I owned as a teenager, when I was less careful. :D As for writing, I just can't do it. Even in college I never wrote in textbooks - I'd photocopy the pages and make notes on that. It felt like graffitti somehow. *is dork*

  2. I'm seeing in the responses this week that I'm definitely in the minority.

    My English teacher when I was a junior in high school was an unusual guy - Mr. Clampitt. I loved that guy. He was young, he was controversial, and he was in love with books. And he always encouraged us to have a conversation with the book, and in a way, the author. Underline the universal themes. Mark the areas where you think the author is indicating a sea change for the character. Point out areas that you think are awesome, or suck. It was a more intimate relationship with a book, like having a conversation. I don't do it with fiction anymore, maybe because I'm not noting things for a test :) I still do like to note those places that make me gasp or make my heart soar, though. I wonder what the heck Mr. Clampitt is doing now.

  3. Anonymous8:03 AM

    That's very telling, though. I never had a teacher do that with me. I was never encouraged to converse with the book -- I was commanded to read it and answer correctly. I can hear teachers in my head yelling "Don't write in a book! Never deface a book!" That, plus my natural OCD tendencies, and you've got a book museum instead of a personal collection. If I'd had a Mr. Clampitt, I might feel differently. (I did have Mrs. Nelms, but that was a little different.)

  4. Anonymous8:10 AM

    I'm a preservationist. I feel weird just thinking about writing in a book, especially fiction.

    I guess the exception to this was in college, with textbooks. I used a highlighter extensively in that case and even *gasp* wrote in those textbooks.