I am one of those horrible readers who likes to highlight passages, scribble notes in margins, press forward page corners.
I never used to be. I used to scowl at my dad each time he borrowed one of my books only to bend back the spine or splash his tea across its lily white pages.
Then I read 84 Charing Cross Road and it changed my perspective. I saw the value in leaving a piece of yourself behind, of holding a conversation with a future reader or simply with the book itself.
“We did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.”
– Marginalia by Billy Collins
Are you a book vandal too?