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Marginalia


The writer in me loves marginalia. I love reading other people’s comments in the margins of books and I love inscriptions and even quotes, like this one that someone added inside The Alchemist which was recently rehomed to a lovely reader. (Note: I’ve made notes in the margins of books, underlined or highlighted paragraphs, dog eared pages.) There is the odd occasion when someone has written or drawn something crude or obscene, but mostly the comments are critical or inspired with respect to the plot or the characters. Some books have very detailed critiques in the margins or inside the covers which I also enjoy reading because I love another person’s thoughts about a book I’ve read, most especially when it comes to plot or characterisation.


I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog about some of the books I rehome having a name and sometimes a phone number or address inside the cover, or an inscription for the recipient wishing them a Merry Christmas or a happy birthday. I love this too, and it makes me wonder why the person moved the book on – did they not love it, or did they love it so much that they wanted to share it with other readers? Either way, the book will find its way into the hands of its next reader.


I have friends who think writing on the pages of any book should be an actual crime, just like dog-earing pages or creasing spines, but none of this bothers me, because as far as I’m concerned a well read and well loved book is going to look a little weathered. And if there are comments inside the cover or in the margins, all the better.

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