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How Should Mark A Book?

Decent Essays
“How to Mark a Book” by Mortimer Adler is an essay about how one should mark a book in order to actively engage in the act of reading. The essay describes the benefits of writing in books and how writing in books benefits the reader. Many interesting points are argued in this essay about why one should mark a book; however, some of the points mentioned are not entirely true. Even though marking in a book has proven to help a reader actively engage, that is not always the case. Adler’s essay is directed towards a specific reader, the scholarly reader, and ignores the multitude of reading styles and needs, which is biased.
Adler used many metaphors in his essay to describe various points, such as owning a book. According to Adler, until
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Also, Adler pointed out that it is better to spend time with a book for thousands of hours, rather than magazines for thousands of hours. Adler ended the essay by saying that one should never lend books to their friends because they will be confused and also because one should never share their thoughts on a book with someone else.
Adler ignores the reader who may be too poor to afford to buy books and needs to use a public library. The people who go to the public library are not allowed to write in the books that they check out. Adler, does address that if one cannot write in a book, then one should either write on a paper or post-its. Adler does not go into details much about what people should do if they cannot write into book too much, and only states: “You shouldn’t mark up a book which isn’t yours.” Adler states that if one does now own the book, then they should not mark in the book. Books that are given by outside sources should not be marked on because the outside sources most likely expect one to return the book to them in the same condition that it was given to the reader in. Adler compares writing in a book given from an outside source to Paradise Lost. He writes, “I’d no more scribble over a first edition of Paradise Lost than I’d give my baby a set of crayons and an original Rembrandt!” (Wake Tech 32). Adler compares writing in a book that does not belong to the reader with an original copy of Paradise Lost
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