Sometimes my notes show anger at the story and the author,with notes covering every border. sometimes they show frustration when trying to make sense of a text that is particularly perplexing, such as the writings of Kierkegaard or O'Brien. It feels as if I need to go and ask them to make more sense in their writing.
Other times my remarks are more trivial and amused. My writing portrays how obsurd I find the passage. Sometimes other people have left notes too. I remember pausing in my reading once to try and picture what one would look like who scribbles down humorous insults in a book about Emily Dickinson.
I've found that students are much less expressive in their annotations. They tend to simply write the name of certain literary devices rather then jot their opinions down at every margin.
In opposition, sometimes the notes are from admirers who sound as if they are rooting on a favorite team. They seem to write encouraging things to demonstrate their appreciation of the passage or the author.
Many notes have something to do with the idea of Man vs. Nature. No one could have possibly gotten through their years of schooling without ever having referenced this, and if you have I recommend you give it a try.
All of us have taken advantage of the margins in a book. we use pens to write notes in them, even if it's just to make it seem like we are doing more than mindlessly flipping pages.
Everyone jots in books. Years ago, even the monks wrote their annotations alongside the entries in their holy scripture. They write about their faith in the gospel, and the encounters they have with what they believe to be a divine entity.
You may have read Joshua Reynolds, but you have not fully absorbed it until you have read it along with the margins filled with reader's scrawl.
While there are many books I've read with interesting margin notes, the one that most stood out to me was in my copy of Catcher in the Rye. I had borrowed this book from the library over the summer, my first year of high school. When reading it in my parents living room, I cannot possibly describe how lonely I felt when I came across this particular page.
On this page I saw what appeared to be food stains of some sort, but next to them something was written very light-handedly-- by someone beautiful that I would never meet-- a note, asking me to excuse the egg salad stains, and that she was in love.
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