books

Ferocious attacks on favorites

Back in high school I once lent Sophia’s World to a friend of mine for we occasionally used the novel at philosophy classes. When she returned it to me and I came home and, wishing to take a quick glance at some passages, opened it – I was struck with horror! Aghast! There were underlined sentences everywhere, circled paragraphs, question marks, exclamation marks as big as houses… Oh, the mess!… I was truly very angry. I could not have believed my eyes. Had she been there that moment, I would have had a very hard time maintaining my composure. I would have burst out at her…

Luckily, this criminal act was committed with a pencil so I spent the next hour or so erasing…

I do happen to love books with notes (as long as they were made before the books came into my possession, to point it out, just in case)… It is pretty interesting to see what previous readers found worth commenting, which parts they liked the best and what were their opinions and sentiments… I know some people who use margins extensively but I can not bring myself to it. The flower notation system is my limit, the only exception I can tolerate.

It was different when I was a child, though. One of my favorite sets of books were Samaniego’s Fabulas. Not only have I read them very often and spent hours enjoying beautiful illustrations but used to play with them on a daily basis… To me and my sisters they served as textbooks, coloring books, grade books and health cards.. we drew on them, destroyed faces of odious characters and copied cute animals with a generous help of indigo paper… What savagery! Two of eight books are now missing, one is left with only a couple of pages and the others are lacking a page or two. There is not a single trace left of my favorite story Belle and looking glass (the dearer it was the more damaged, apparently)…

I feel quite ashamed of myself when I see these books. I did them so much harm. 

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4 thoughts on “Ferocious attacks on favorites

  1. I share your pain my friend…I am insecure when it comes to giving out books…just in case my possessions of pride and joy come back in anything less than immaculate condition.

    Take heart from your damaged books though, for now you can go on a quest to find more copies and the thrill of the chase is always a decent substitute for owning.

    1. Lending books, even to a few chosen friends only, now comes with strict instructions and warnings..
      Yes, you are right – there is a certain pleasure in suspense created by browsing dusty books, built by hopes and wondering. Even though I usually leave with my desires unfulfilled I had the satisfaction of ‘it might had been’.

      1. There is so much romance in a bookshop …and I don’t just mean the books. Or perhaps it is the browser who makes their own romance up. Either way I know a shopping trip with you would be a blast…and expensive.

        1. I agree with you. I think it is because books are such a huge part of our intimate lives..
          We would make great browsing partners, I dare say. Though, I have to disagree with the expensive part as I am a master of controlling myself which sometimes is not a very good thing at all but on this occasion would serve me (us both?) well..
          Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ponder winning the lottery and consequently loosening the strings on a book shopping trip!

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