I used to read. Most of my fare was paperbacks. I developed, as all confirmed readers did, tastes and taboos peculiar to myself. Cracking the spine of a book seemed destructive to me, so the front and back covers had to be curled back as I read. I also made musical accompaniment by tapping the spine with my fingertips. In college, when it became necessary to take notes, I underlined, by preference with a ballpoint pen. A friend of mine, another reader from youth, considers this monstrous, but he turns down the corners of relevant pages, which I find …
This article appears as “Remember Books” in the November 2, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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