Dog-Eared Books, Highlights and More

I write in my books. It’s what I did in college to survive, quite honestly, and I never stopped since. I highlighted, took notes on the side and post-it notes. Did everything possible to engage and have a personal connection to the book. It’s the close I’ll be to really interacting with the authors (some now long gone, of course).

I still have a lot of those books and appreciate the little notes I took to remind myself of things. It shows not just how I was thinking at the time, but reminds me of why and where I was mentally at that point in life. Why did I highlight that one point that now makes no sense, while missing that other that I now believe is so brilliant?

While in college, I read Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling and Repetition for a morality  and humanities class. In a piece called “Eulogy on Abraham,” which was the same Biblical guy known as Abraham, I highlighted the text: “If such were the situation, if there were no sacred bond that knit humankind together…”

There was more – but this was all I got.

I then wrote (and this is probably the most interesting to me now, almost a decade later): “life does have meaning cause hose could it just be something done that’s it?”

I have no idea what this version of me is referring to, or if whether I’ve grasped the real meaning of the text, although I passed the class. So maybe I did?

Maybe. But that’s life. You grow and change and eventually your relationship to the book.

“I enjoy taking a beloved book I’ve read multiple times off my shelf and looking at the pages. I am reminded by the faint trace of folded corners where I’d stopped along the way. Some sections are bigger than others, meaning I never paused once while engrossed in those pages. It’s almost as if those corners serve as a scrapbook from my reading journey.”

Abbe Wright, In Defense of Dog-Earing

Highlight provides those glimpses into our thoughts from time to time. I sometime enjoy reading more my notes and highlights than I do of re-rereading the texts.

How do you approaching highlighting and marking your books?


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