Monday, August 5, 2013

Writing in books and other horrifying acts

On a recent road trip, I wanted to make some notes from a book I was reading. As I looked around for paper, my husband asked me why I didn’t just write in the book.
"I can't do that."
“Why not?”
“I don’t know, I just can’t.”
“Is it your book?”
“Then what’s the problem?”
“I just can’t, and I also can’t tear out articles from magazines.”
“Why not?”
“I think it’s from all those years of writing for magazines,” I said. “I know how much hard work goes into every article.”
I told him that many years ago while waiting at the ophthalmologist’s office, I asked a receptionist to make a copy of an article for me. She said no one had ever asked her to do that before because everyone else just ripped them out of the magazine.
At that moment I knew I could never be a receptionist because I would get mad at everyone who defaced the waiting room magazines.
It’s a problem, I know. What about you? Do you write in books and tear pages from magazines? I promise I won’t get mad if you tell me!
Write soon,


  1. I HAVE written in books before (but not often, unless it's a teaching resource book, and then I write in them often) and I HAVE torn out things (usually recipes) out of magazines. I've also highlighted things in some of my favorite novels (like phenomenal lines).

    Perhaps, Mary, you should get a bunch of 8x10's of yourself, frame them, and take them to all the doctors' offices around here, with a little brass plaque that says, "#1 Waiting Room Reader." You ARE an exceptionally considerate person, to request a copy of something. (I've even taken whole magazines from a waiting room--just once or twice. That's worse than ripping something out.)

  2. Ya know, Sioux, for some odd reason I think stealing the entire magazine is better than ripping it up! I don't know why, and I know it's just me, because everyone else does it with no problem whatsoever. I should get some professional help!

  3. I like to rip decorating ideas out of magazines before the magazine hits the recycle bin, but my books are kept fairly pristine.

    Critter Alley

  4. I keep the whole magazine, which explains the large stack under my bed!!!

  5. Hi Mary! I love this post! I was raised with a love for books, and to never write in them! OR to never turn the top corner as a bookmark! Shame!! But, as I've "matured"...ahem...I've decided it's actually OK to write in my own books and even turn the corner down if I can't find anything to use as a bookmark! I really hate to see writings inside library books, though. Magazine articles, etc....Yes, I tear things out, but not often!