Sometimes my notes look like I was angry with the writer as I was trying to decipher his text. I have notes on every border of the page. My notes indicate that I am so frustrated with the difficult to understand writers like Kierkegaard or O'Brien. I feel like my notes are saying to me "Can't you just make sense of what you are reading?!"
Some people especially students tend to be more modest. They leave their notes only on the bottoms of the pages. Their notes are simple such as, "Modest" or "Irony". They are like fans who cheer from empty bleachers screaming one word cheers towards the author.
Those that have gone through college and have not made simple annotations yet should learn to start making notes in the margin. Everyone has used the sides of the pages for notes even if just to show that we are not lazy readers.
The Irish monks of old even made notes on the sides of their pages, brief breaks from the slow process of copying scriptures. A bird would chirp near the window, the sun would shine on the pages and they would get lost in the pages. A person has never read Joshua Reynolds until they have furiously jotted notes on the sides of his pages.
The one annotation that I can not ever seem to forget, that constantly I am reminded of was written in a copy of Catcher in the Rye - a book I borrowed from the library during a warm summer break. It was the beginning of high school when I would read books in my parents living room. This particular not was something that stood out more than the rest. Next to a few greasy stains a beautiful girl that I would never meet wrote, "Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love."
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