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A) Read it and pay attention to his argument.


I contend, quite bluntly, that marking up a book is not an act of mutilation but of love.


You shouldn't mark up a book which isn't yours. Librarians (or your friends) who lend you books expect you to keep them clean, and you should. If you decide that I am right about the usefulness of marking books, you will have to buy them.

There are two ways in which one can own a book. The first is the property right you establish by paying for it, just as you pay for clothes and furniture. But this act of purchase is only the prelude to possession. Full ownership comes only when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it is by writ-ing in it.


Confusion about what it means to own a book leads people to a false reverence for paper, binding and type Ч a respect for the phys-ical thing Ч the craft of the printer rather than the genius of the author. They forget that it is possible for a man to acquire the idea, to possess the beauty, which a great book contains, without stating his claim by pasting his book-plate inside the cover. Having a fine library doesn't prove that its owner has a mind enriched by books; it proves nothing more than he, his father, or his wife, was rich enough to buy them.


There are three kinds of book owners. The first has all the stan-dard sets and best-sellers Ч unread, untouched. (This deluded in-dividual owns woodpulp and ink, not books.) The second has a great many books Ч a few of them read through, most of them dipped into, but all of them as clean and shiny as the day they were bought. (This person would probably like to make books his own, but is restrained by a false respect for their physical appearance. ) The third has a few



books or many Ч every one of them dog-eared and dilapidated, shaken and loosened by continual use, marked and scribbled in from front to back. (This man owns books.)

Why is marking up a book indispensable to reading? First, it keeps you awake. (And I don't mean merely conscious; I mean wide awake.) In the second place, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written. The marked book is usually the thought-through book. Finally, writing helps you remember the thoughts you had, or the thoughts the au-thor expressed. You can pick up the book the following week or year, and there are all your points of agreement, disagreement, doubt, and inquiry. It's like resuming an interrupted conversation with the ad-vantage of being able to pick up where you left off.


And that is exactly what reading a book should be: a conversation between you and the author. Don't let anybody tell you that a read-er is supposed to be solely on the receiving end. Understanding is a two-way operation; learning doesn't consist in being an empty recep-tacle. He even has to argue with the teacher, once he understands what the teacher is saying. And marking a book is literally an expres-sion of your differences, or agreements of opinion, with the author.


If you're a die-hard anti -book-marker, you may object that the margins, the space between the lines, and the end papers don't give you room enough. All right. How about using a scratch pad slightly smaller than the page size of the book Ч so that the edges of the sheets won't protrude? Make your index, outlines, and even your notes on the pad, and then insert these sheets permanently inside the front and back covers of the book.


Or you may say that this business of marking books is going to slow up your reading. It probably will. That's one of the reasons for doing it. Most of us have been taken in by the notion that speed of reading is a measure of our intelligence. There is no such thing as the right speed for intelligent reading. Some things should be read quickly and effortlessly, and some should be read slowly and even laboriously.


(From: "Reading in English", N. Y., 1963. Abridged.)


Here are some means that can be used in persuading others:

citing facts to support your view;


relating relevant incidents or experiences in which you or oth ers have been involved;

citing authorities who support your view;



making a direct appeal by expressing your conviction with sincerity or feeling;


appealing to emotions.

Which of the given above has the author used to persuade the reader "to mark up a book"?


C) Make dialogues to persuade your partner to read a certain book, or to do something you consider important. Follow the tactic suggestions given above. (Dissuasion dialogues are also suggested.)


2. Speak on the points given below with the aim of advising your partner on the choice of books or writers. Use the following conversational formulas of advice:


You'dbetter... If I were you, I shouldn't... Whynot... It'shightime to... I'll tell you what... Make sure... Make the best of it. I'll tell you what...


a) Speak on the literary merit of your favourite book to arouse your party's in terest. Use the following words and expressions:


plot development; climax; to depict characters; to unmask char acters; an observer of human nature; character portrayal; illustration of; instances of humour; to give the impression of; difference in emo tion; to be employed by the author; to awaken interest; traces of; an exciting (interesting, intriguing, etc.) story to read; brilliance of the language; etc. '


b) Speak about your favourite modern English or American writer, and/or one of the novels. Use the following:




a landmark in the history of modern fiction; it holds you with a firm grip; psychological insight into; a book to open anywhere; to bring into sharp focus the problems of the twentieth-century man; a great master of ironic style; full of critical spirit; beautiful descriptions of, based on actual facts; challenges of life; etc.


c) Speak about the kind of books you prefer to read in your spare time. Use the following:


a favourite pastime; fiction by the greats; to excite the mind; a true picture of life; (not) to be fascinated by the blood-and-bones atmo-sphere of detective stories; unflagging interest; tidy problems; neat solution; an entertaining puzzle element; a briskly developing plot; to hold the reader in suspense.

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