In the Mail (and some comments on marginalia)

It’s a strange thing when my blogging world and my Twitter world seem so entwined that when I mention something on Twitter I assume to have mentioned it on the blog as well. In any event, as I mentioned on Twitter yesterday (but apparently not the blog), my copy of C. F. D. Moule’s The Origin of Christology has arrived. I was inspired to finally get this volume, which I have been meaning to get for at least 6 or 7 years now, when Matthew Montonini posted links to some of Moule’s lectures on his blog.

I opted to get a used copy in “good” condition. It’s an old library copy that has plastic film protecting the hard cover, which has done an excellent job by the way, and was apparently the gift of one Mark Sexton to the Gill Library, College of New Rochelle, according to the sticker on the inside front cover. The binding seems to have held up quite well over the years (this was published in 1977) and the pages are yellowed as one expects from an old book. Unfortunately, a previous owner treated his/her book the way that I treat mine and wrote on nearly every page. There are notes in the margins and underlining throughout—granted, in light pencil, but still!

2013-06-08 18.26.42  2013-06-08 18.27.20

Now there’s a simple reason that I find other people writing in books reprehensible while having no qualms about doing it myself (and here), and no, it’s not because I’m a hypocrite! The reason is that other people might possibly give their books away or sell them to someone else. In such a case they should be clean! I, on the other hand, never plan to give my books away or sell them to anyone. I’d much rather buy someone their own book or give them something I’ve gotten that I haven’t read and have no plans to read, in which case the text will be clean as a whistle.

In any event, I have the book, and I’ll deal with the marginalia in one way or another, but I really wish it wasn’t there. On the other hand, I only paid $3 for the book plus shipping, so there’s that.

B”H

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4 thoughts on “In the Mail (and some comments on marginalia)

  1. It may be possible that the previous owner who wrote in his book, like yourself, never intended to pass it on to another. However, through death, or some other happenstance, the book came into possession of others who eventually sold it to you as used.
    I sometimes find the notations and markings of previous owners fascinating and educational.

  2. Jeff: You’re probably right. I’m usually so put off by markings in my used books that I never take the time to find anything educational or fascinating about them.

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