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Dog-ears, coffee rings and beer stains — 3 Comments

  1. For me its the underlining of books. Or using a luminous high-lighter these days. You end up with a three way engagement, or maybe four way. You, the text, the writer and the highlighter.
    If I have one problem with the Irish university method its that due to the volume of content one rarely engages with it in that way that it’s truly processed. I know I’ve read texts for three months, and criss crossed argument and logic, but once the exam was dusted it’s as if the whole was flushed, and with it any buds of true insight.

  2. Forty-odd years ago, I bought a second hand copy of John Stuart Mill’s “Utilitarianism” in which the majority of the text had been highlighted.

    A previous owner had written inside the front cover, “I assume that the next that is not highlighted is that which is to be noted”

  3. Oddly, and sorta the 180 of this. I took Russian and eastern European history and with the way things were in UCG the set texts weren’t in the book shop nor in the Uni Library. But I found a set of books published in the 1920s and bought by the then librarian that were printed and folded in the old way. Meaning, a, I had to cut the leaves, and b, no one in seventy years had bothered to read them. And yes, they were in the vein of Ayn Rand for they were pre revolution Russian historians. Well she didn’t lick it off a stone.

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