As a passionate bibliophile who is obsessively careful with her own books, I’ve never understood the mentality of those people who write with pen in library books. If you’re going to do it, at least use a pencil. Yet while these scribblers provoke varying degrees of annoyance, at the same time, their notes offer a sense of connection to earlier readers. When you’re on that road of peril and uncertainty that is the Research Quest, there’s something comforting in knowing that a fellow student has tread the path before you, and one hopes, vanquished.
I’m not sure a whole lot of vanquishing was happening with these students, though.
As much as part of me wants smack these people up-side the head for immortalizing their trivial comments in this book, I’m pretty darn amused to see this empassioned little commentary by a succession of readers, each in a different hand and ink (and pencil). My favorite comment is “he” ‘s not a person. So, Mr. Who Is Shantih, did you even read the poem?
One of the writers with the blue ink also commented on the previous page.
On a later essay in the anthology, our little friend with the black pen proves that, assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, clearly he does not know better.
I’m pleased by the irony of this statement. Besides the ontological impossibility of a book’s being said to truly “know” anything, might I point out that this book is a collection of essays by different authors? Inevitably, you’re going to agree with some of them and for the rest, wonder exactly whether they were reading the same copy of The Waste Land as you were.
Ah, students. Thank you for a few fragments. While I certainly shan’t be using them to shore up any ruins, they gave me a chuckle (spread from ear to ear)!