Original question: 41: Do you consider the practice of hand-annotating a book you are reading sacrilege or a part of a time-honored tradition?
From doodles in the margins to neat underlines and check marks, to entirely separate second stories. Marginalia — the writing in the margins of books — is a topic near and dear to me, for a very personal reason. My family has a habit of sharing books that are heavily marked up with our thoughts and notes. These book copies are intensely personal — and no matter how popular the book reprintings are, those individualized copies are irreplaceable.
It used to be that a hand-notated copy of a book was the only kind of book there was. The creation of a book was an intensely personal and resource-heavy effort. Today, books can be had for very few resources, but they can still be heavily personalized.
It’s an implication of personalization within mass production that, every time I find the gift of marginalia in a used book store, I completely enjoy.