Bram Stoker's reference materials for Dracula discovered at the London Library


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/29/defaced-history.html


#2

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I’m opinionated about the defacement of books, mainly because all my favorite children’s book-of-the-month club books were colored in crayon and shredded with sewing shears at the hands of my brothers. I hate book vandals.


#3

I think “defacing” is a bit strong for what Stoker is confused of here, though. Personally I kind of like encountering occasional underlining and marginal notes in library and used books, although I never do such things even to books I own.


#4

I can’t even cut out pages from magazines that are explicitly intended for that purpose.


#5

It’s one thing to dog-ear pages in a library book. It’s another thing to mark up the pages. I don’t condone defacing library books, as it takes away from the reading experience of subsequent readers. Even in college, when I purchased used books in the school store, I always looked for the ones with the least amount of highlighting and underlining.


#6

For reference: the London Library was and is an independent library funded by members’ subscriptions (though it was never profit-making, and is now a registered charity). It also almost never gets rid of books- with the exception of duplicates, its small collection of incunabula which were sold in 1970, and books lost to WW2 bomb damage, every book it has ever acquired is still in the collection.


#7

As long as they hung on to their copies of the Tractate Middoth and Unaussprechlichen Kulten they should still be worth a visit from the discerning antiquarian.


#8

I don’t care. I vont to bite your neck.


#9

“Maybe it was funny the first hundred times, but I just can’t take it any more. I’m moving to Transylvania”


#10

#11

I bed to differ. The final line here still gives me goosebumps.


#12

I think you may be accused


#13


#14

Just in time for Halloween! Perfect!


#15

Hehe, I remember buying a used textbook one time when the previous owner had gone through with a highlighter to mark important passages.

Every line, every paragraph, every page. You’d think after the second chapter they would have thought, “Wait, why the hell am I doing this?”, but no.


#16

Unfortunately for him, “bun huer” is Romanian slang for vagina.


#17

Tell me about it. This actually came up in therapy years ago because my ex couldn’t comprehend why I punished the kids for ripping or marking pages or leaving the book open and face down. The Bible was the only book I had access to at home, so the library meant everything. Now when my kids get complimented on how quiet and respectful they are in the library I’m always like, “Yeah, fuckin’-a they are!”


#18

Its the scene leading up to that that had me rolling on the floor in pain with laughter. The only time in my life. Unfortunately that only works once.


#19

My niece has an activity book with instructions including “deface this page”, “rip this page out”, “crack the spine of the book” and “rub these two pages in the dirt.”

I never quite knew how precious I was about books until I saw that. Fortunately the others in the series are more creative; she loves them.


#20

Bleh, bleh bleh!