In researching “Laura,” I borrowed Gerald Pratley’s “The Cinema of Otto Preminger” from the Los Angeles Public Library, only to discover that some idiot had scrawled through the entire book. The individual who committed this crime spent lots of time underlining random words and drawing lines in the margins, with a continuing descant of arguing with the author, rendering the book virtually unreadable.
There are those who hail marginalia as the loftiest poetry of the human soul and bemoan the rise of tablets and other devices that deprive a reader of marking up a text. I am not one of them. It’s nothing but selfish vandalism – at least in a book that one does not own.