I underline passages and jot down impressions in the margins. I put big stars by passages I want to find again.
When I give books away, I write notes in the front cover. That said, I also have a Nook app, a Kindle app and Kobo for independent books. However, as I’m reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss on Nook, I’m wishing I could write in the margins. And then I got thinking…Some of my most prized possessions are books I inherited from my grandparents. My grandmother gave me a book, which she and her newlywed husband received from his grandfather.
Grandpa included a letter and signed it before giving it to the couple.
One of my favorite analogies in the book is marriage is like taking an ocean voyage and when you and your spouse start out on the voyage, you leave everyone else on the dock and rely on each other. No matter what the world thinks of your love, it’s up to the two of you to weather the storms together.
I started wondering “How will I pass on my notes and thoughts to my children when what I have is digital files keyed to my account?” At least the new apps let me highlight and make comments but it’s just not the same as pen and paper.
I’ve tried to instill a love of books in my children and we have a large library. Today while at Barnes and Noble we ran into a woman who was buying 18 of the classic publications in the faux leather bindings. She didn’t care what they were as long as the colors didn’t clash. She told me that no one would read them they were just meant to look good on the shelves. I asked if she were staging a house for sale, and she said no, they were for decorations on the bookshelves in her house. I helped her pick some classics which would be interesting should someone deign to pick them up: Aesop’s fables, H.P. Lovecraft, The complete works of Shakespeare and Poe, Arabian Nights and Grimms Fairytales, The Bible, The Constitution, the treatises of Nikola Tesla. I thanked her for supporting the publishing industry. I’m sure she thought I was a wench.
The other thing I love about books is meeting authors and having them sign things. I met Anne McCaffrey when I was in college and the sad part was all my good books were in my bedroom at home, all I had was Restoree.
Anne looked at it and said, “Oh, my gothic romance,” and we both giggled. The event hadn’t been well publicized so I got to sit and talk with her for the hour she was in the store. I wanted her to be my Great Aunt or Grandma.
I’m looking forward to the authors they have for Salt Lake ComicCon this fall. Jim Butcher has given me many hours of pleasure, R.A. Salvatore entertained my kids. Terry Brooks provided wonderful examples of improper grammar and great discussions on veiled plagiarism (he’s not one of my favorites).
My kids have been told they will need to open the front cover of each book before it goes out the door when I die, they shouldn’t just give away the signed ones, or the ones that I’ve written in. After all, these are my very good friends and they shouldn’t end up on the trash heap without at least some consideration.
As for the digital files, delete all the free garbage, most of it needed a good editor and then maybe it could have been sold. I’ve discovered life is too short for an unedited digital file because every writer no matter how good, can benefit from an effective editor. My blog is excellent proof of that.