Virtual Marginalia
What is reading, but silent conversation? -- Walter Savage Landor

What is virtual marginalia?
current marginalia :: home

I have a passion for reading.  My primary form of entertainment as a child was reading.  I can remember some summer vacations when I had read everything in the house, including my own books, my library books, my mother’s romance novels, her houseplant books, her high school yearbooks, and my Dad’s old National Geographics at least twice.  I even tried reading my Mom’s shorthand manual once, although I soon lost interest in that.

I read very quickly.  Too quickly, really.  Sometimes I get to the end of a book and can’t remember significant plot points because I’ve read it too fast, so I have to start over and read it again.   This typically happens with a novel that I’ve been anticipating and finally have the opportunity to read.  This habit of reading too fast was exacerbated by the years I spent in graduate school, where the volume of reading always far exceeded the time I had for reading it.

Sometimes someone will ask me a question about what I have read.  If the question is specific (“what did you think of book Y?” or “have you read book Z?”), I can answer it with clarity and animation.  But if the question is general (“what was your favorite book of last year?” or “what are your favorite mystery novels?”), I’m frequently stumped.  I have difficulty recalling the names of books I read, when I read them or what genre they inhabit.  I admit it – I have a recall problem when it comes to books.

These three things -- a passion for reading, a tendency to read too fast, and difficulty in recalling details about what I’ve read or when – led to the creation of Virtual Marginalia.  I also have three reasons for  for maintaining this site (a) to pin down the details of the book itself  (b) to note the why and when of my experience with it, and (c) to share my comments with others

Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, declarations or objections.