If you buy a book, it is yours to do what you want with it. That is a given.

But if you are not planning on keeping a book and think about donating it or selling it, would it be too much to ask not to deface it?

I understand stains and the occasional page with a tear, but bent corners, cracked backs, highlights and writings are not things we like to see and deal with.  Highlights and assorted marks distract me from what I am trying to do which initially is to get my own private lessons from the book. I do not need to know what you thought it was appropriate/interesting/necessary.

And for the love of all that is holy, any piece of paper and even a frigging toothpick make for an appropriate bookmark.

[rant off/]

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

11 thoughts on “Defacing books.”
  1. It’s the book owners property to do with as they wish. And that includes high lighting, notes in the margin and whatever else they desire. If this bothers you BUY YOUR OWN BOOK. It’s called freedom. Something too many people no longer understand.

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    1. I bought the book and it was defaced. So much for your concept of freedom.

      My guess is that you have a lot of experience selling used cars from lots that guarantee you zero down and a low monthly payment.

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        1. Highlighting: I’ve never understood why people need to mark directly onto the text itself for anything but editing/proofing. Maybe highlighters shouldn’t be so common? (We just need common-sense rules to make sure only the ones professional enough have highlighters!)

          Bookmarks: Have you ever seen a bookmark for sale that costs more than one dollar? 🤔 If only there was a thin paper item 🤔 that would fit in a book 🤔 to mark where I left off 🤷🏽 Guess I’ll have to buy one! 🧠

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  2. At University we bought used textbooks when we could. They were often marked up like this example. I hate that.
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    I could never understand what the prior other got from highlighting 95% of the text.

  3. I have one rule when buying used books, which I do often and especially ones which commentate on the content of the Bible, which is, always buy the most expensive highest rated condition available……..unless there is only one in which case, I just resolve myself to suffering at the hands of those before me.
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    It’s been a while since I bought a used car, and I learned long ago to sit in the seat before buying, to see if the owner before me had a huge butt and whether or not I would need to restore the driver’s seat back to better than new.
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    Defaced books generally end up for resale because the original defacing owner willed their library to someone who either didn’t like the defacing or the book in general, and thus sold it or gave it to a used bookstore for a meager profit.
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    The people I grew up under all had extensive libraries—there wasn’t a wall in the home which did not have a bookcase from floor to ceiling. And I inherited all those libraries and presided over their futures. I kept every first edition of which there were many and yes some of them were defaced–my one grandfather didn’t know how to read a book without underlining everything which impressed him….but he did so with a pencil. So restoration was possible.
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    I grew up with one rule imposed on me by my forefathers, you never deface a book, instead you take proper index notes and file it next to the index file for later reference.
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    I love a well-respected preowned book. Happiness is a warm gun in one hand and a perfect condition first edition old book in the other.

  4. I have a variety of bookmarks provided by my grandchildren. And I do mean variety! 🙂

    I still highlight, but many years ago I switched to doing so vertically in the margin. Much quicker, easier, and uses less fluid. It also doesn’t show up over the text if I decide to scan the page.

  5. I occasionally annotate academic books lightly in pencil, when I need to mark an important passage for later direct quotation or citation. I don’t do highlighter, but I’m intrigued by the people who do, and who suddenly stop making notes in the fourth chapter or so. Only once (a book about slavery in Russia before Peter the Great) has the former owner plowed through to the end.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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