Friday, July 22, 2016

Restraint and the use of Post-It notes

John photographed me deep into my task of removing Post-It notes from my many university course books. Notice the markers on my shoe. 

Some of the books and some of the markers. How will I find my favourite passages without the Post-It notes?

Some bright scientist accidentally created the forerunner of Post-It notes in 1968, but the product wasn't widely sold until the early 1980s. That was about a decade after my first go-round at university, so in my campus days, nobody wandered around with books protruding bright-coloured sticky pieces of paper.

I discovered the wonder of these handy little markers when I went back to university in 2014, and perhaps overdid it. By the time I was finished with my copy of Bleak House, it was so full of markers -- top and side -- that it looked like a many-coloured porcupine. People laughed. But Bleak House's 1,000 pages are so stuffed with great characters, quotes and ideas that I couldn't restrain myself.

Faced with a pile of these marker-stuffed books and the necessity of fitting them into bookshelves, I sat down recently and took out all the Post-It notes, one by one, book by book. There were a lot of books, and a lot of markers. It took awhile. This fall, when classes resume, I think I will choose a little more carefully which passages to mark with a bright little piece of paper.

1 comment:

  1. Well, why not mark as many passages as you like with colourful stickies! “The fact is, that, of all God’s gifts to the sight of man, colour is the holiest, the most divine, the most solemn…The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”
    - John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice