Personalizing Books

I have something of a ritual I go through with books that I buy. Like many people I write my name in the front of the book, then I add the month and year (1/07) under my name.

Best as I can remember I started this the summer I was 19. I has attended a 2-week… camp? seminar? called Summit.  Where I bought a stack of books. I think I put the dates in as a reference point (8/98), to gauge how long until I finished reading them (some of them, never– they’re still sitting unopened on my shelves).

Since then the labeling seems to have become something of a “need” for me. I just finished dating a stack of books I bought in the last two months (vacation and going-out-of-business buying), along with several I’d found with no dates.  With those I had to do a little homework and associative remembering to nail down the exact months.

But with it done I feel a ridiculously comfortable sense of accomplishment.


My next big-deal will be finding a home for all these new acquisitions and loosening my hold on a few special ones I really did buy for the kids, so I shouldn’t hold too tightly to them myself…which means letting them endure

the comfortable abuse
of frequent use.


First torn page this evening. I see a sort of parallel between a nice book’s first tear and a guitar’s first ding.

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