Waste of book

I usually am quite happy with secondhand book purchases, including those procured through online book shops. I get a number of books that way, especially nonfiction.

Most of the time, if there’s a bit of writing on the sides, I don’t mind it. Sometimes, I’ll find it interesting. My father used to write in book margins, usually expanding a bit on an underlined sentence or phrase.

So when I finally got a copy of Civilization and Its Enemies, and flipped through it briefly to see if the description I’d been given was accurate (Slight cover damage, some notations on the margins and underlined sections.)

I did not expect to find instead the hardcover’s first few blank pages with notations on it, but the former owner tone policing, dismissing, and offering social-justice zealot excuses as well as Choamskite points of view, and radfem nitpicking within the introduction to the book itself.


And it only gets worse from there. This is the next page.margins1 I have to say though, it is fascinating how soc-jus zealots feel the need to display their virtue signalling even though they’re reading. Was that little ‘female’ symbol under the word ‘men’ really necessary? And it’s interesting that the notes are lecturing the writer on how horrible and wrong he is – and most of the ‘wrong’ isn’t actually ‘wrong’ at all. The rest of the book is much the same; and actually makes it a distraction from the actual text. There’s so many notations that I have to say, I’ll be quite unable to read the book if they’re left in. I’ll probably have to buy some correcting tape to cover it all up – and I’ll need a LOT.

I buy books to enjoy reading, not be hectored at by it’s previous owner. That said, generally if I’ve ever written in the margins of a book, there’s a pretty darned good chance that book isn’t ever getting out of my library, so that a later owner’s pleasure isn’t spoilt.

8 thoughts on “Waste of book

  1. Matthew Bowman

    I’ve seen this before, in a situation so identical that it feels like a glitch in the Matrix. Someone else ordered a used book to find it full of the previous owner’s posturing, on effectively the same subject. I wish I could remember the blog; it would be hilarious to see these stories side by side.

    1. R.K. Modena Post author

      You’re kidding! I wonder if its even the same book!

      If you do find the blog again, do let me know.

      Someone on twitter told me that they were the third owner of a used book, and the second owner had written rebuttals and arguments in the margins in reply to the FIRST owner. I’m somewhat tempted to do that; we’ll see.

  2. Foxfier

    slowly blinks
    Dang, that stuff isn’t even clever. Like you said, it’s just red herring snark.

    Possibly the person got the book JUST so they could write in it, then resell to “enlighten” folks.

    1. R.K. Modena Post author

      Cedar thinks it may have been required for a class, but on reflection, are there professors who actually assign books to their little social justice baby Marxist indoctrinates that portray the other point of view?

      On the other hand, it may have been the rare professor who actually does try to teach their students to think.

      I may try to go for used library copies instead next time. Or fisk the commentaries. I dunno. We’ll see. I got a bottle of liquid paper sitting next to me, obtained last night.

      1. Wyldkat

        The comments do have a “sourced” material, book report, feel to them. Almost like someone was prepping for a debate.

        If I marked up a book like that, even a text book, I wouldn’t sell it.

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