National Review

Like having a child or planting a garden, annotating a book is an expression of hope for the future. Adding a comment to a text, I affirm that I, or someone, will pick up the volume again someday — that books will endure as objects of interest in a civilization not wholly digital. Rereading David Guterson’s The Other, I am pleased to discover that my younger self recognized in Chapter One’s lost-in-the-woods sequence a “broader existential crisis.” If my son or daughter pulls that novel off the shelf one day (kids, it’s a masterpiece), they’ll see my note, and we’ll have a kind of chat, even if I’m long dead.


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