In an age of print-on-demand and reflowing text, why in goodness’ name don’t we have the ability to print almost anything we buy and are going to read in any font size and format we like?
Why couldn’t I have a presentation copy sized version of The Paris Review?
“I could fit this in my pocket,” I thought when the first newly re-designed @parisreview arrived. And sure enough editor Emily Stokes said it’s was made to fit in a “large coat pocket” in the editor’s note. pic.twitter.com/tra25GOk6e
— Marc Geelhoed (@marcgeelhoed) December 8, 2021
Why shouldn’t I be able to have everything printed on bible-thin pages of paper for savings in thickness?
Why couldn’t my textbooks be printed with massively large margins for writing notes into more easily? Why not interleaved with blank pages? Particularly near the homework problem sections?
Why couldn’t I buy my own hardcover, custom edition of Annotation with massive five inch margins to really make having a handwritten #AnnoConvo easier? (C’mon MIT Press, I know it’s part of a pre-existing series, but editorial considerations should have necessitated leaving at least an inch!)
Why can’t I have more choice in a range of fonts, book sizes, margin sizes, and covers?
When are publishing platforms going to give us this?!?
Curious to see how these tools can be communally used for collaborative note taking, knowledge creation, and discussion.
And annotation helps you save those thoughts, share them with others, and further refine them.
(There should be a discount code KISLAKCTR21-FM to get 40% off & free shipping as part of the Schoenberg Symposium for the next few days Nov. 17-19, 2021)
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one of the most important tools of a reader or writer was a commonplace book (CPB). Peter Beal, leading expert on English manuscript studies, defines a commonplace book as “a manuscript book in which quotations or passages from reading matter, precepts, proverbs and aphorisms, useful rhetorical figures or exemplary phrasing, words and ideas, or other notes and memoranda are entered for ready reference under general subject headings.” Your sources can include, first and foremost, the assigned readings and supplementary materials, as well as any other useful texts you come across. I encourage you to supplement CPB entries with extra-curricular material: quotations from readings for other classes, lyrics from songs, lines from movies, tweets with relevant hashtags, an occasional quotation from a classmate during discussion, etc. These extra-curricular commonplace passages, however, are in addition to and not in place of the required passages as described below.
I’d be curious to see those who are using Hypothes.is as a social annotation tool in coursework utilize this outline (or similar ones) in combination with their annotation practices.
Curating one’s annotations and placing them into a commonplace book or zettelkasten would be a fantastic rhetorical exercise to extend the value of one’s notes and ideas.
As I’m thinking about this, I can’t help but think that Hypothes.is, if only for fun, ought to add a manicule functionality to their annotation product.
I totally want to be able to highlight portions of my reading with an octopus manicule!
I can see their new tagline now:
Helping hands on the digital page.
I’m off to draw some octopi…
Interleaving a copy of your favorite text can leave massive amounts of space for marginalia!
Copies of print and digital editions of Jonathan Edwards’ blank Bible are available.
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Blank-Bible-Works-Jonathan-Edwards/dp/0300109318/
- Online: http://edwards.yale.edu/archive?path=aHR0cDovL2Vkd2FyZHMueWFsZS5lZHUvY2dpLWJpbi9uZXdwaGlsby9zZWxlY3QucGw/d2plby4yMw==
Apparently one can buy modern copies of interleaved bibles as well: https://www.amazon.com/Interleaved-Journal-Hardcover-Letter-Comfort/dp/078524316X/
Video review of an interleaved bible:
What other books can be found in interleaved editions? Ayn Rand perhaps?
Free registration is still open for those who’d like to attend remotely.
Antero Garcia (Stanford University) and Remi Kalir (University of Colorado Denver) will discuss their recently published book Annotation (MIT Press) and the literary, scholarly, civic, and everyday significance of annotation across historical and contemporary contexts. Their conversation will focus on social annotation contributing to learners’ digital and civic literacies, how annotation enables creative and critical learning, as well as implications for teacher education and professional learning.
The writing I enjoy doing most, every year, is marginalia: spontaneous bursts of pure, private response to whatever book happens to be in front of me. It’s the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible — not the big wide-angle aerial shot you get from an official review essay, but a moment-by-moment record of what a book actually feels like to the actively reading brain. ❧
It’s also sort of founding example for the idea of social annotation given that most prior annotation was for personal use. (Though Owen Gingerich has shown that early annotations were copied from book to book and early scribes added annotations to texts for readers as well.)
It also demonstrates the idea of proof of work (in this case love “work”), which is part of the reason that social annotation in an educational setting using tools like Hypothes.is is worthwhile. Students are indicating (via social signaling) to a teacher that they’ve read and actively engaged with the course material.
Of course, unlike the example, they’re not necessarily showing “true love” of the material!
An awful lot of my thinking happens in the margins.