Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Book Questions, Pt. 4 (Happy Fall!)

It's Fall in NEPA (that's Northeastern PA for those who don't know), and the weather is crisp and invigorating. The changing leaves here are so beautiful--the kind of beautiful that makes me giddy and distracted, in a good way of course. This weekend is Fall Break at my school, which means the library is closed Saturday through Monday. I am looking forward to spending time enjoying the season with my friends: a dinner party on Friday evening at a friend's house, a Harvest Festival on Saturday morning (if I can wake up for it!), and hopefully a knitting circle on Sunday afternoon after church. By the end of the weekend I hope to have enjoyed some fresh apple cider and good times with good people.

On time this week, here below are my answers to Jenna's Thursday Book Questions, Pt. 4 (love the questions this week!). For previous editions, see the following links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Yes, I am embarrassed to say I do. Not often though! I have an arsenal of bookmarks that rotate throughout the handful of books I am reading at any given moment. But sometimes, I admit, when I need to close a book just for a moment, I will dog-ear the page I am on, knowing I will be returning very shortly. I think, being a librarian, I have become more and more aware of the wear and tear books can put up with, so I am a little less squeamish about these sorts of things.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
It's funny: I used to do this all the time. For instance, all of my Madeleine L'Engle books (including the Time Quartet) and many of my C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien books have my marginalia (in pencil of course!) preserved from late high school and early college when I first read them. I am rereading The Problem of Pain right now, and I am reading my 18 year-old commentary as I go. Which brings me to the reason I don't write in the margins anymore... As a reader, I find it distracting. The marginalia tends to guide my thought process as I read, and that limits my own/present reading of the text. It's especially interesting when my 26 year-old self is battling with my 18 year-old self over what is important in a passage and what is not. As a result, I no longer write in the margins, even when I am doing research: I use little post-it flags for every line I think is noteworthy. My books often have a rainbow of post-it flags hanging from the pages as a result, but so be it.

18.  Not even with text books? [Hey, wait a minute... that seems to presume a negative answer to the previous question! Stand fast against such nonsense and answer #17 any way you want.]
Haha I appreciate Jenna's bracketed comment here. ;) I suppose if I was in a course of study that actually used textbooks, I wouldn't have a problem with writing in the margins. But my courses use stand-alone books which I anticipate revisiting again and again in the future, so for that reason I avoid writing in the margins for the reasons I cited above.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English, as it's the only language I'm fluent in.

20. What makes you love a book?
Wow, this is a good question. If the book is a story (i.e., fiction), then understanding myself better for having read it, causes me to love it, because it means I am someone new (and hopefully better) by the end of it. In a way, even with the theological texts I read and love, I think this is the case as well--by understanding God better, I understand myself better. I should also add, really lovable characters cause me to love a book as well. For instance, I am itching to pick up the Anne of Green Gables books again because I miss Anne Shirley terribly and can't wait to spend time with her again.


  1. Enjoy the rest! it is Thanksgiving weekend already here in Canada! I know, SO Early. But it is lovely with the leaves matching the Thanksgiving Day!

    L'Engle, Lewis and Tolkien - I read a lot of these too ... :)

  2. Donna, that is exactly the reason I don't write in the margins! I've had my Bible (the book I've done the most margin-writing in) since I was a teenager and totally different things are noteworthy to me now. And the old notes are usually just annoying. :)

  3. I'm not allowed to dog ear bookmark my books since I got married, but that's how I did it my entire life so I confess I still do it in books I know Fr. A has no interest in.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Donna!

    I lose the threads of where I found some blogs I follow, too!

    Looks like you maybe found me through Jenna, the commenter above. We are in the same writing circle and location.

    My most notated books are some of your favorites, too! L'engle, Lewis. The most notated book I own is Orland and Bayles' "Art and Fear", simply because it is so PACKED with pieces of heart-matter that I MUST try and remember somehow. I lent it to a friend a few months back and she said I doubled the word count.