Before I begin I must define 'your books'. I mean books that are owned by you, me or us, not ones we have borrowed from each other or the library, university or school. I assume that it is still just plain wrong to deface or disfigure those in any way.
But in the Effective Study sections of my recent OU course(s) it has been suggested that one useful aide memoire is to underline passages and make notes in the margin of the course text book.
My problem is that instinct tells me this is a cardinal sin, with shadowy memories of wrapped knuckles and threats of confiscation of all my books. As far back as I can remember, any mark or scribble found in a book was tantamount to jam on your jumper or crayon on the walls. No, a mark in a book was worse, because the jumper and the wall could be washed but the mark or the scribble in the book was there to shame the perpetrator every single time the page was turned. The only exception to the rule was that we might have been allowed to write our name carefully on the inside cover. And some books positively invited such vital inscription, with a special curly patterned and framed space for it to go, with the words 'This Book Belongs To..'
When my own children were young I passed on the same standards to them, surreptitiously removing crayons and pencils out of reach of their picture or reading books. Whether they shook off my example when it came to their own studies I haven't asked. But I did ask my OH for his thoughts and he said he used to mark quotes in his history text books when he was studying, but actually prefers taking separate notes. For him the writing of the note itself helps the learning process and he would rather scan through his notes to answer questions than scroll through a whole book of annotations.
Running this little quandry past another good friend, she admitted to using copious numbers of Post-It notes when she is reading books to review. Now there is a perfectly acceptable and brilliant idea. Remembering what we did before the Post-It note is like trying to remember what we did before Kitchen Roll. Apparently we have Messrs Fry and Silver to thank, Arthur Fry invented the note and Spencer Silver the magic movable glue. I have absolutely no qualms about using those little beauties.
And stumbling around the web whilst writing this post I found some even cleverer updated versions that might need further investigation - some extra special clear ones that can be found here at :
The same friend also reminded me that with the advent of the E-Book which allows you to make notes without defacing the original text in any way, my little dilemma might eventually become a thing of the past.
But that still doesn't help me to feel comfortable with, or know whether it is actually truly OK, to do this: