One of my pet peeves is quickly becoming people who check out library books and then mark them up as if they were their own copy. If you want to underline and make notes in a book, buy a copy of the book! I have occasionally had to wade through a book that has not one, but two or three people’s notes and comments in the margins.
Well, today I picked up a copy of the Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley and immediately noticed that someone had filled up the last page of the book and the back cover with hand-written notes. For me, that is almost as bad as it can get. As steam was coming out of my ears, and I was mumbling who do these people think that they are that anyone else would want to read their thoughts on Wesley’s works… I opened the front cover to see if it had been defaced too.
Inside the front cover I found a sticker, which reads: “From the Library of Albert C. Outler (1908-1989).”
Ok, so I guess Dr. Outler has a right to write in his own books… and I have to admit I am very interested in reading his thoughts on the Journals and Diaries of John Wesley.
Interestingly, his comments relate to the introduction written in vol. 18 by W. Reginald Ward. And he certainly seems to have had some strong opinions about the content of the introduction.
Anyway, I will count this as a “cool find” and as one more reason I love being a Ph.D. student. (Less charitable observers may consider this entire post simply further evidence that I am a “nerd.”)
Equally annoying is that my husband will write notes on the nearest piece of paper he finds. Even if it happens to be one of my books or even my Bible. Usually the notes are unrelated to anything in the book but phone numbers or to do lists.
I share the pet peeve as well. I hate that. But that is a really cool find. I’m surprised the library allowed that copy to be in circulation.
Andrew Conard said:
Kevin – That is a great find! Cool story. Does that mean I’m a “nerd” too? 😉
How will you feel when it’s not notes in a library book, but crayola colorings from a cute daughter in your personal books? She may not be as famous as Albert Outler, but she’s just as important!
Kevin Watson said:
Bethany is far more important in the eyes of her daddy than Albert Outler.
I’m not sure if Bridwell Library would hold those drawing in as high esteem
as Outler’s notes though, but that remains to be seen.
Here’s an idea. Our regional library lends musical scores to Choral Societies. Last year, the library decided that all scores would be returned to them without marks regardless of the shape they were in when lent out by the library. If scores were not returned unmarked the choral society would be given a hefty fine. (In the case of the large choral society that I belong to, this would have resulted in a fine of over £500.) The most recent scores we used dated from the early 1950s. I spent close to 4 hours erasing pencil marks from mine. Including someone who had marked ‘DV’ all over every page. The funniest mark was ‘Stand, DV’.
It’s a really great way for libraries to get free cleaning.