Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ex Libris - Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman





"... I came to realize that just as there is more than one way to love a person, so is there more than one way to love a book."


So, two days ago, I have this Reading class with Ms. Chennal, my new-cute-lecturer. She wanted us to discuss about an essay and make a summary of it. The essay is "Never Do That to a Book" by Anne Fadiman. Let me give and explain my short yet good summary of this essay. Anne Fadiman distinguished the book-lovers into two types; Courtly Lovers and Carnal Lovers. As it mentioned in the essay, courtly lovers will treat books wisely, very very carefully. They consider the books as a sacred thing that if you ever treat books wantonly, they would probably curse you out! All courtly lovers would never leave a book facedown. If they want to stop reading the book, they will close the book and left a bookmark on the last pages that they read. The Fadiman’s Chambermaid believed in courtly love. On the other hand, Carnal Lovers are the one who don’t believe that books are sacred. All carnal lovers would simply dog-ear the pages when they need to stop or pause reading the book. They would also left a book facedown and put on the bedside of the table. The Fadiman family believed in carnal love, Anne, as the member of the family, confessed that she like to turn down the upper corner for page-marking and the lower corner to identify the passages she wants to Xerox for her commonplace book. Her brother is also the one who keeps disintegrating the book by let the book consists of separate fascicles and impossible to read because the pages are spread out everywhere. The trouble with the carnal approach is that they love the books to pieces.

            I consider myself as a half courtly lovers and carnal lovers. I’m not good at handling books or the one who will treat books overly like courtly lovers did, but I do always treat a book carefully. I would never let my book separate into pieces. I left a bookmark whenever I stop read the book, but, I also did the dog-ear pages if there’s no bookmark that I could use. When I need to do something such as take a shower, eating or even drinking while I reading a book, I will leave the book facedown for a while.

Well, how about you? Which side are you on? 

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