Isaac Watts on marking books

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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
To shorten something of this labour, if the books which you read are your own, mark with a pen, or pencil, the most considerable things in them which you desire to remember. Thus you may read that book the second time over with half the trouble, by your eye running over the paragraphs which your pencil has noted.

It is but a very weak objection against this practice to say, I shall spoil my book; for I persuade myself, that you did not buy it as a bookseller, to sell it again for gain, but as a scholar to improve your mind by it; and if the mind be improved, your advantage is abundant, though your book yield less money to your executors.

For the reference, see Isaac Watts on marking books.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
To shorten something of this labour, if the books which you read are your own, mark with a pen, or pencil, the most considerable things in them which you desire to remember. Thus you may read that book the second time over with half the trouble, by your eye running over the paragraphs which your pencil has noted.

It is but a very weak objection against this practice to say, I shall spoil my book; for I persuade myself, that you did not buy it as a bookseller, to sell it again for gain, but as a scholar to improve your mind by it; and if the mind be improved, your advantage is abundant, though your book yield less money to your executors.

For the reference, see Isaac Watts on marking books.
#BookIdolatersHeadsExplode ;) :lol:
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
To shorten something of this labour, if the books which you read are your own, mark with a pen, or pencil, the most considerable things in them which you desire to remember. Thus you may read that book the second time over with half the trouble, by your eye running over the paragraphs which your pencil has noted.

It is but a very weak objection against this practice to say, I shall spoil my book; for I persuade myself, that you did not buy it as a bookseller, to sell it again for gain, but as a scholar to improve your mind by it; and if the mind be improved, your advantage is abundant, though your book yield less money to your executors.

For the reference, see Isaac Watts on marking books.
Don’t tell this to my 3 year old daughter.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
I bought my mom an old edition of John Bunyan Works for Christmas several years ago, one of her favorite authors. Three volumes, very pretty. Next time I saw her she was highlighting and taking notes in the books. I said "Mom! Those are antiques! Don't write in them!" She said they're hers now, she can do what she wants. I still cringe thinking about it.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
When do we get to Isaac Watts, the heretic? :)
I have never really looked into that subject in any detail primarily because most of those who seemed to be making the accusations were prejudiced against Isaac Watts on account of their views on exclusive psalmody. Then again, the likes of Jonathan Edwards and Charles Hodge seemed to think that there was something rotten in the state of Denmark as far as Watts' Christology was concerned. I just came across this article from Nick Batzig, though I have not got around to reading it yet. There is no question, however, that Watts' #Davidphobia has inflicted a lot of damage on the church. Still, while I am an exclusive psalmody advocate, I do not want it to unfairly prejudice my view of someone else.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Only Betas refuse to use highlighters. :stirpot: :p
I will use it on Mass Market Penguin paperbacks. I used red ink on my edition of Augustine's City of God and Confessions. Depending on the paper quality, red ink will show up better. But if it is a good publisher like Baker or RHB, then only use pencil.

As to highlighters, if you are reading or highlighting under a weak lamp, the highlighter won't show up until you move to better lighting.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
I was firmly against writing in books. I have a large library and a majority were bought second hand. I'd only buy a used book if it had pencil underlining (with rare exceptions) and I'd painstakingly erase the marks.

For the past 10 years or so I've put a parenthesis in the margin with a star to denote the area of interest, and the page # on the front flyleaf with a gloss to define my reason.

Only within the past month have I myself begun underlining and margin notes in pencil. I finally decided that it is a profitable practice, and I'm happy to have come to that conclusion. Highlighting or ink marking I still find too much of a good thing.

On Issac Watts, Martyn Lloyd-Jones frequently quotes stanzas of Watt's hymns in his sermons. Good stuff.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I am not opposed to those who underline or highlight, but I am not one of them.

Perhaps I am too optimistic, but whenever I read a good book I always hope I will not be the last person to read it. I prefer to keep my books clean for the next person, not so I can profit from selling the book, but because a good book deserves to be read by many.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
I mark in my books in hopes of passing them down so that my children and grandchildren can see what was edifying to their dad and hopefully future grandpa and so on! :detective:
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
I am not opposed to those who underline or highlight, but I am not one of them.

Perhaps I am too optimistic, but whenever I read a good book I always hope I will not be the last person to read it. I prefer to keep my books clean for the next person, not so I can profit from selling the book, but because a good book deserves to be read by many.
Most of my purchases these days are electronic but I've never been too much of a scribbler or highlighter. I'm just rough on books. They bang around in my briefcase. I tear the jackets and most of the softbacks end up creased. That's why I'm so reluctant to borrow them. So my point is I don't worry about the scribbling or coffee stains. Posterity can just deal with it.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
That being said, use pencil. I almost never use highlighters or pens.
Same here. Cheap mechanical pencils, using a small assortment of symbols for the reason for marking.

I do use a highlighter to mark up dockets and disposable printed opinions/memos, etc., when I'm in court, but I have never been happy with using them for study.

I've known people who used four colors. I have trouble enough keeping a pencil nearby.
 
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