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Keep Those Pens to Yourself

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I love buying my books at my local Friends of the Library event for two reasons. I'm supporting my local library system but most importantly hardback books are $1.00 and paperback books are $.50. How can you beat that? I spent $200 the last time I went and when I brought them home my husband just about had a heart attack when he saw them stacked around our tiny living room.

One of the books I picked up was Nora Roberts' Key of Light. I didn't notice that the book was defaced at the sale. These sales are a grab and look it over later kind of thing. While most people are polite, some women in the romance section get a little crazy if you grab a book they were reaching for. So I just tossed it into my bag without a second glance.

When I began to read it last night I finally noticed the destruction. Someone had taken a pen to this poor paperback copy and scribbled out the swear words. Since I paid .50 cents for this book I shouldn't complain too much, but this is not about paying for the book. This is about defacing a book. This is about graffiti in a book.

Not even a book that you own but a borrowed book. If you buy a book and you want to mark it up fine. Go ahead. I've done it in the past with novels of mine, marked passages I wanted to talk about in my book club or for a review I'm working on. But when you borrow a book from the library please keep your pens and pencils to yourself.

Don't take it upon yourself to edit or clean up something that is part of the novel. Some woman, because in all honesty with Nora Roberts I really doubt it was a man, went through this book and scribbled out swear words. There are not even that many of them! If you have a problem with a handful of 'shits' 'god damnits' and 'bitches' you need to put the book down and slowly walk away.

Am I going to buy myself a new book because this one was defaced by some pen happy anti-swear word person? No but it sure does make me angry, damnit!

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About Katie T. Buglet