So, I picked up a really good at the library yesterday called “The Pill,” and it’s a history of the Pill. It’s all about the development, socially and chemically, of the Pill, and the people who were involved, and the motivations they had, and so on. It’s good. I will probably post a review later.
Only, here’s the thing.
The cretinous philistine who checked out the book before me apparently had the need to insert editorial commentary, which they did with glee. Luckily in pencil, so I can follow through with an eraser, but still. Now I know that none of my readers would ever do something like that, ever. However, read on, and disseminate this information among those you know, so that we can put a stop to this sort of disrespectful behaviour.
Don’t write in library books. I feel, actually, that people shouldn’t ever write in books, period, but library books especially. If you feel the need to deface someone else’s work, buy your own copy, don’t mutilate the copy that your funding challenged local library purchased for the use of patrons all over the county. I cannot tell you how maddening it is to be reading a perfectly fine book and be forced to stop by marginalia. I cannot read a book that has been written in. I find it immensely distracting and am forced to either skip the mutilated chunk (and be really confused), or find another copy of the book. This is why when I was in college I spent a fortune on books–I had to buy new because I couldn’t deal with someone else’s moronic scrawl. For the love of Pete, have some fucking respect and don’t write in books. Don’t correct the goddamn typos, don’t add witty commentary, don’t add snarky editorials on the author’s work. If you really just have to say something, keep a sheet of the paper next to the book, like I do, and fill it with cryptic notes like:
“362 women penis funerals why so sure about?”
“456 this study has been proven WRONG repeatedly.”
It’s immensely satisfying, and highly entertaining later to go back over your notes with glee. And then you return a pristine copy of the book to the library, and then everyone is happy.
Because here’s the rub:
When I get a book that has been written in, I complain to the librarians. I know they don’t have time to check every book that comes in, so I let them know that there is damage. And then, the librarians bill the patron who damaged the book for full replacement cost. (And believe me, they have their ways of figuring out who it was.) So you would be better off buying a softcover of the inflammatory text and marking it up as much as you need to, instead of being billed to replace a hardcover with library binding. Those are expensive. You fucking book destroying assholes.