At the recent Carmel Library used book sale, I purchased a copy of Reza Aslan’s 2013 book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” As I began reading it, I came across ink-written comments. Normally, I have no problem with writing in used books. I do it myself in my personally owned books. However, this fairly recently released book had been a library purchased copy. It appears that the library had to withdraw the book from the shelves due to the unauthorized notations within. If that is the case, then someone, who was offended by the book and perhaps considered the book an offense to at least one of the first three Ten Commandments, was quite willing to violate commandments forbidding theft and disrespect for the property of others. Money was lost to the library in the destruction of this book and other readers have been denied their opportunity to read it.
What freedom of the press, thought, or religion, would exist were everyone to deface every book they disliked in a library or bookstore? The person who wrote in this book is not that far removed from book burners of the past. My advice to him or her is: “Write your own book and leave the others untouched.”