Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Writing in books: crime or contribution?

Today we are inclined to think that it is naughty to write in books, and that those who do so are a little band of compulsive deviants. But two hundred years ago, the practice was seen as an unremarkable and even commendable privilege of ownership. Reading with pen in hand put readers on their mettle. They did not think of themselves as "consumers"; they meant to make a permanent contribution to the book. 
H. J. Jackson, “What Was Mr. Bennet Doing in His Library?” American Scholar, v. 72 n.4, Autumn 2003, at 160, 160.

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