Duly Quoted

"A library is a hospital for the mind."

Duly Quoted: A History and Explanation Of.

Sometimes, I read books.

Sometimes, when all goes according to plan, I enjoy those books.

Reliably, when I enjoy a book, I feel compelled to underline the crap out of it. It’s a tick. I can’t help myself. My pen takes over. I have no other explanation.

…I kid. Of course I do! And get ready, ’cause it’s cheesier than Paula’s Macaroni.

When I enjoy a book, I usually enjoy it because it contains passages that make me feel like the author and I have, in fact, some sort of deep spiritual connection such that at some point in our individual histories, our hearts&souls completely overlapped. They’ve felt the things I always thought I was alone in feeling; they’ve gone through something that I (apparently a narcissist) assumed I had been through alone; they’ve expressed and untangled all the ineffable knots in my spine. Thus, in having written the book, they’ve somehow taken my hand and offered me guidance towards a more enlightened life!

When I find these passages, I feel a compulsion to underline and recopy them into a neat little word document, so that any time I’m feeling a little low on wisdom, their sagacious words are only a click and a keystroke away.

Of course, sometimes I do not necessarily agree with what I underline. Sometimes I just underline it because it made me think. Or pissed me off. Or boggled my mind. And my opinion/selection really doesn’t mean all that much. I’m not some fancy qualified literary critic. My tastes aren’t that refined. I’m just a kiddo who reads books.

i started posting the fruits of this compulsion to the Book of Face last year as a means of 1) sharing the love, 2) offering my book recommendations per several requests, 3) inviting people to respond to the book/the quotes that “speak to me”/my own reaction to the book/whatever they please. I also took to including a Postsecret image (or sometimes, just a random picture i found on the internet) with the note, because I sort of feel like the phenomenon I experience in reading and that of PostSecret are quite similar–that is, a sense of connectedness. Credit for all posted images, then, goes, to Postsecret…or another source that i have lost track of. If you are aware of a missing credit, do tell me!

I’ve decided to switch to a Real Live Blog as my means of sharing those notes so as to reduce the amount of polluting i do to other people’s Facebook feeds. Hurray? Hurray!

I really love hearing people’s responses. That means you, reader-who-feels-too-shy-to-comment! Also as always, typographical expressions of enthusiasm (bold, bigger size, etc) are usually my additions, meant to indicate sections that induced especially strong mindgasms.

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5 Responses

  1. Gillian G. says:

    How cool!! I underline like crazy when I read too. I blame it on being on English major ;) Seriously, I LOVE the concept of your blog. and it’s good to know that I’m not alone on my “culinary blunder” days :D

  2. monicamuses says:

    Hi! I just found your blog from britchickruns, and I have to say (from only reading through the front page) that I love it! As an obsessive lover of literature myself, I can truly appreciate someone else who annotates the crap out of her books :)

  3. french dog says:

    When I do research on artists from books, I do not underline but I hand copy whole paragraphs . The more I copy, the looser my writing becomes. It is a slow process but as as my hand and wrist relax, the writing becomes a form of drawing with lots of curvy lines and flowing shapes. I use different color markers on my sketchbook page. I love the process. The words on the page become my own marks, even though the text is not mine. But I write down the text because it resonates in my psyche.

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