Apr 18


Via Anne from “Allow us to judge a book by its cover

In her collection of essays, Ex Libris, the bibliophile Anne Fadiman writes that just as there is more than one way to love a person, there is more than one way to love a book. Those who revere first editions and pretty covers, who worry about sun damage to spines and despise pencil notes in margins, are courtly lovers. Those who split open books as if they were ripe fruit, who dog-ear pages and use paperbacks as table mats, are carnal lovers.

I have to admit that when I purchase a used book instead of a new copy, it’s often for the marginalia and occasional highlighting, not in spite of it. I like to imagine who the previous reader was — sometimes even try to find the pattern in the pieces of marked text. Now I feel like a voyeur intruding on such a relationship.

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