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Public Library Book Marginalia

Allow marginal notes on public library books without damage
  [vote for,

I have secretly enjoyed reading _some_ of the markings I discover in public library books (!) I am a voracious reader, and my wife happens to be a public librarian (who would privately agree, but publicly be aghast!)

Although I am vehemently opposed to scribbling in pen on public library property, some of the notations I've seen are exceedingly insightful, and add to my appreciation of the book. And it's quite important that the annotations are at exactly the place in the book where they are needed - e.g. underlined misspellings, useful references, thoughtful comments. (Kind of like the HB!)

I expect this capability to become part of electronic books in the not-too-distant future, but I'd like to find a way to add this to existing public library material, without damage.

It occurred to me today that most library books prior to the 1990's had pockets attached, for checkout slips, and these are mostly no longer used due to universal barcoding, and other electronic methods.

So, the idea is to encourage book scribblers (you know who you are!) to pencil in small initials with sequential numbers in the books, and include corresponding paper notes in the no-longer used pockets.

And append pockets to post-'90s books for the same purpose. Kind of like GeoCaching.

(I'm sorry the description of this idea isn't up to my usual standards; my librarian wife suffered a life-threatening episode of tachycardia last week, and got an implanted sensor/defibrillator yesterday. She''s fine, but I'm a wreck!)

csea, Jul 15 2010

New Yorker article on the demise of paper card catalogues http://www.newyorke...TNY_CARDS_000365934
Brilliant eulogy for annotations in public card catalogues. [csea, Jul 15 2010, last modified Jul 16 2010]

Secondary Source Hypertext Commentary Novel Secondary_20Source_...0Commentary_20Novel
Extensive electronic hypertext links embedded in a digital publication. [Jinbish, Jul 15 2010]

cf Amazon Kindle's recent "Popular Highlights" feature. http://redtape.msnb...s-to-its.html#posts
Highlights and notes are "backed up" to Amazon; now Amazon shares (so far just) highlights with other users. Reception is mixed. Privacy? [jutta, Jul 15 2010]

Marginalia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginalia
Seems like the correct term [csea, Jul 16 2010]


       I am also looking forward to seeing annotated versions of e-books by the general public available to you and me as the general public. But as much as I privately enjoy finding the secret and forbidden and often indecipherably arcane annotations by others in hard-copy library books, I can't bring myself to publicly endorse the practice, any more than I could endorse public graffitti.   

       We're all keeping good thoughts for your wife, [csea], and for you, too, during this trying time.
jurist, Jul 15 2010

       best wishes to both of you, csea.
po, Jul 15 2010

       Yeah like I was reading Arithmetica by Diophantus the other day and some dude had scribbled in the margin something about the margin not being big enough to contain his remarks, +.   

       Best wishes.
zeno, Jul 15 2010

Twizz, Jul 15 2010

       I was sure this was going to be internet-based.... I can see it now... take a shot of the barcode with your smartphone, and page-by-page comments get loaded from the net... just tap in the page number and see what any number of people have noted about it.
vincevincevince, Jul 15 2010

       [+] with [vincevincevince]'s modification. (A wife *and* a librarian. Doubly precious. Good luck and a speedy recovery to her.)
mouseposture, Jul 15 2010

       I like the potential for the idea but the concern is that there is no quality control on the annotations.   

       I've got a second-hand copy of "The Power & the Glory" by Graham Greene and has some very insightful annotations (in a respectful light pencil script). It also has a defunct "school property" stamp on the inside cover - which might explain why the annotations are there...   

       Anyway - perhaps we could just rely on the fact that the type of person to visit a public library and annotate will be the consciencious type?
Jinbish, Jul 15 2010

       <drifting off-topic>There was a piece on the BBC news recently about how there is expected to be a drop off in illuminating marginalia in now-secret (but eventually released)_ documents relating to government. This could attributed to (a) the rise of the post-it and (b) MP's pathological fear of being required to account for their actions and opinions. </drifting off-topic>   

       Hope Mrs Csea is feeling better, and Mr Csea is feeling calmer, soon.
calum, Jul 15 2010

       // librarian wife suffered a life-threatening episode of tachycardia //   

       Er, what sort of books does she look after ? Can anyone come in and browse ?
8th of 7, Jul 15 2010

       Sorry to hear that [csea].   

       Not only is that really neat but it sounds eminently doable, in a guerilla way if not through the library service itself.   

       I have to confess that i did once annotate a particular library book very heavily in pencil because it had annoyed me so much. It vanished soon afterwards.
nineteenthly, Jul 15 2010

       I'm with [mouseposture]. And I don't write in books, but I like finding notes in them. Perhaps archival grade sticky notes.
normzone, Jul 15 2010

       Speedy recovery Mrs. Csea.   

       At fist I thought it was an excellent idea, but then I realised that it is marginal at best. : ]   

       Nice work, [2 fries]. It's almost as if you were reading between the lines.
Jinbish, Jul 15 2010

       This is a textbook idea. Meaning, I would like to see it in college textbooks (and in fact, I preferred used textbooks to new ones because often someone had explained the difficult parts in the margins already)
phundug, Jul 15 2010

       Thanks for the good wishes, all. She (and I) are recovering well. I found the New Yorker article [link].   

       And, my good wife told me that the correct term is "marginalia," of which the most famous was noted by [zeno]. [link]
csea, Jul 16 2010

       //the correct term is "marginalia,"// except when written by the Emperor of China, in vermillion ink, in which case it's "imperial rescript."
mouseposture, Jul 16 2010

       I think It is abhorrent to scribble anything in a book. But I am guilty of doing it to books I own. Maybe you could have an on line book club where you share anecdotes on books you read?
travbm, Nov 05 2015

       You spend a lot of time doing the exact equivalent of scribbling on books on this site.
xenzag, Nov 06 2015


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