descontructions

anonymous asked:

How do I make myself customize a book? I mean, make notes, score with brand pages, really interact with it. I love reading but I find difficult to me to do this things. I always imagined that books were ''sacred'' things and I really struggle trying to descontruct this image.

Sigh, I can sympathize. I used to see books as sacred things that needed to be kept in pristine condition. Writing in books was a sin and taking highlighters to them a crime. That attitude is impossible to maintain in university though, especially if you’re studying literature. I remember one of my profs started laughing hysterically when I told her I felt that way and explained that marking books is a way of showing them respect, and I snapped out of it after that. Granted, I still keep most books mark free if I’m reading them for fun, but my uni books mostly look like this now:

It hurts at first, but it gets to be fun after a while. You get to establish your own code, your own system and it ends up making reading a more fulfilling experience. 

Until you get to that point though, you need to establish a strict code and stick to it. Assign themes to different colors: e.g., I use blue to call attention to character development, green for symbolic uses of the setting/environment, yellow for interesting narratological elements, etc. If you’re reading a book for a class and need to focus on specific elements or adopt a specific angle for it, then keep that in mind and put a color code together and copy it down on the back inside cover the book. Every pink mark in the above book, for instance, represents manifestations of “the double” in Stevenson’s stories. 

I know a lot of people prefer to take notes directly on post-its and then stick those in the book. I personally don’t do that because the post-its take up room and cover up the text itself and are a pain when you flip through the book looking for something. So I prefer to write in the margins or use the little flag post its that I can stick in the margins if necessary. 

My favorite way to mark books in any case is with silver gel pens. I randomly used one once and it made the whole marking experience much better. I hate using dark pens in books and pencil marks get smudged/fade and meh. Silver gel pens look like pencil marks though, don’t smudge and have an advantage after ink pens in that their markings don’t clash with the printed text.

There really isn’t much more to it than that. You just need to find the method that works best for you and force yourself to stick to it. It’ll feel natural after a while and you’ll be glad you did it when you’re writing an essay and need to quickly find a passage that makes use of objective correlative and find one within seconds.