Skip to main content
Submitted by admin on 16 Aug. 2010
English
304_image1_457.jpg
Open an old book and find – a flower, or better: a bank note, photographs, letters, notes scribbled on the pages, exhibitions tickets. Even if a book is boring you may find something interesting between the lines or pages, if it is an old book, not a Kindle. The Guardian Book Blog muses about "marginalia and forgotten mementoes" in the age of the internet.

Open an old book and find – a flower, or better: a bank note, photographs, letters, notes scribbled on the pages, exhibitions tickets. Even if a book is boring you may find something interesting between the lines or pages, if it is an old book, not a Kindle. The Guardian Book Blog muses about “marginalia and forgotten mementoes” in the age of the internet.

“The growing sense that books may be about to become redundant is producing a good deal of sentimental chatter on – where else? – the internet. As the growing popularity of ebooks makes us wonder whether print and paper will soon become the sole preserve of collectors and retro-heads, book-lovers seem to be dwelling particularly on the physical aspects of the paper object. It's not the words that will disappear, after all, just the way they are revealed to us.



It's been bitter-sweet, for instance, to read recently about the notes left by Penelope Fitzgerald in her "battered, treasured, much-used library"; about "that keenest of annotators, Samuel Taylor Coleridge" and his coining of the term marginalia to describe his habit; and about Sylvia Plath's strange (yet perfect) impression of Jay Gatsby waiting in the driveway of the Buchannan House where his love Daisy is patching things up with her unpleasant husband Tom: "knight waiting outside, dragon goes to bed with princess". These scribbles in the margins already seem like messages from a dying age. Will the next generation of writers leave similar guides to the workings of their minds for the future? Perhaps – but not in a format we can currently comprehend.”

>>> The precious unprinted contents of books - posted in The Guardian Books Blog

Article