commonplacing

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P46

When I come across something I really like in a book, I put a dot in the margin. Not a check, not a double line—these would be pedantic—but a single nearly invisible tap or nudge of the pen tip…

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P46

I can reread a book that I have dotted here and there, and yet not be too distracted by the record of my earlier discoveries.

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P47

Then—and this is the most important part—at some later date, sometimes years later, I refer to the page numbers, locate the dots, and copy out the passages that have awaited my return into a spiral-bound notebook.

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P54

There is good to be gained in signing someone else’s mind-signature, in scribbling in tongues: the retracing of a series of long-lost authorial motions with your own present pen, if you do it in the proper spirit, out of a desire to stay delight’s presence rather than out of autodidactic obligation…