8th out of 18 books — 2 voters
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Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books
by H.J. Jackson
An examination of all varieties of marginalia, from casual scribbles to lengthy arguments. It introduces us to annotators, both celebrated and unknown, whose jottings in book margins reveal much about themselves, their relationships with other readers, and their involvement with books.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Yale University Press
(first published February 8th 2001)
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Apr 18, 2012 Candace rated it it was amazing
Maybe you have to be a lit nerd and compulsive annotator like me to love this book, but boy, did I love it! It's fascinating to see Jackson sketch out a humble history of annotation from 1700 to the present, and his conversational tone throughout took what could have been a dull subject and made it a pleasure to read. Also, maybe this is just because I've read too much literary criticism which likes to present its claims as utterly true and incontrovertible despite the obvious impossibility of m ...more
This book was the foundation for my term paper on marginalia. It is the definitive work on the subject, filled with fascinating anecdotes and analysis. It is, however, short on statistics or data analysis (admittedly so). I recommend it for anyone interested in the history of books or the history of reading. You'll be engrossed!