When we were first married, my husband bought a new Bible. The first thing he did was to sit down at his desk with a pen.
I gasped. “What are you doing?”
“I’m transferring notes from my old Bible so I’ll have them.” At that point, I think he’d also started in with a yellow highlighter.
I had never seen anyone do this. When I was growing up, I had one Bible. When I was in the third grade, my parents gave me a King James Version, with a white cover, engraved with “Tamela Ann Hancock” that I treasure to this day. I never, ever, considered taking a pen to it.
Now I have a fabulous collection of Bibles. But I still don’t write in any of them. Nor do I ever dog-ear or write in other books, whether they be mass-market or leather bound. When I’m finished reading any book, you’d barely know I touched it.
I thought about this, and realized it’s because when I was growing up, I borrowed most of the books I read from the school or community library, or from friends. I would never leave my mark on any of those books if I could help it. So I never developed the habit of taking notes. In school, we were taught never to leave any book open, pages on the table, to mark our place, because it would break the spine. We were taught not to dog-ear any books. As a result, I got in the habit of leaving every book as pristine as possible.
Perhaps my heirs would find my notes fascinating if I were to make observations inside any of the books I own. But alas, unless I change my habits, they’ll just have to guess about my thoughts.
Do you write in your books?
Do you record notes in your Bible?
Do you think I should start making my mark on the books I own?