I no longer underline interesting passages in my books the way I once did. I now don't like to mar them in anyway, yet I don't altogether regret the underlining I did decades ago. Now I can just leaf through those old books and immediately find the lines that were most important to me back then.
I see it has been nearly a year since I last posted something about underlining in books. (See Worth underlining, Oct. 17, 2012.) Here are a few more passages I have been rereading lately in old books about such topics as psychology and economics.
From The Pliant Animal: Understanding the Greatest Human Asset by George Weinberg (1981):
"Freud overlooked the possibility that even if we are the same over a period of time, such constancy may not indicate that we are victims of our personalities, but that by routine choices a person may unknowingly copy himself and thus remain the same."
"Continued violation of one's personal ethic reduces guilt over the activity. The very behavior that originally produces the guilt seems to have the opposite effect after a while."
From The Strong and the Weak by Paul Tournier (1963):
"The weak allow themselves to be crushed because they believe in the strength of the strong, not seeing that it is a cloak for weakness. The strong crush the weak in order to gain assurance from their triumph."
"As La Bruyere wrote, it is those who waste their time who complain of not having enough."
From The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism by Michael Novak (1982):
"The rich are useful because their odd tastes prevent our architecture from being monotonously bureaucratic."
"As an idea, socialism has been forced by its own failures to retreat from the field of economics to the high ground of morality."
From Reflections of a Neoconservative by Irving Kristol (1983):
"Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters in life begin when you get what you want."
"No society can be utterly indifferent to the ways its citizens publicly entertain themselves."
Interesting stuff. Maybe I'll hang on to these books a little while longer.