New copies

In the first class on the first day of my being an English major, we read an essay about the virtues of marking up your books.

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The root of the argument was that a copy of a book isn’t the book itself. It’s a representation of it. The text exists elsewhere even if you’ve written, dog-eared, spilled coffee on, or dropped your copy in the bath. Texts are sacred. Physical copies of them are not. So use your books however you need to use them to maximize your reading experience. You owe that to the author.

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I agree. Information and the representation of it are two separate things. That was my only take-away from semiotics class.

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Anyway … my old copies of the Little House books are thirty years old and have been read thirty times. I’ve replaced them with hardcover copies because they are literally falling apart. As in, I’m losing pages. And because I have sturdy hardcover copies now, I ought to throw the old ones away. Because they take up a chunk of real estate, and I don’t fetishize the hard copies of books, right?

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I’m balking.

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