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Letter to a Future Lover : Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries
by Ander Monson


Overview -

An exuberant, expansive cataloging of the intimate physical relationship between a reader and a book
""
"A way to leave a trace of us, who we were or wanted to be, what we read and could imagine, what we did and what we left for you."
""
Readers of physical books leave traces: marginalia, slips of paper, fingerprints, highlighting, inscriptions.  Read more...


 
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More About Letter to a Future Lover by Ander Monson
 
 
 
Overview

An exuberant, expansive cataloging of the intimate physical relationship between a reader and a book
""
"A way to leave a trace of us, who we were or wanted to be, what we read and could imagine, what we did and what we left for you."
""
Readers of physical books leave traces: marginalia, slips of paper, fingerprints, highlighting, inscriptions. All books have histories, and libraries are not just collections of books and databases but a medium of long-distance communication with other writers and readers.
" Letter to a Future Lover" collects several dozen brief pieces written in response to library ephemera with "library" defined broadly, ranging from university institutions to friends' shelves, from a seed library to a KGB prison library and addressed to readers past, present, and future. Through these witty, idiosyncratic essays, Ander Monson reflects on the human need to catalog, preserve, and annotate; the private and public pleasures of reading; the nature of libraries; and how the self can be formed through reading and writing."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781555977061
  • ISBN-10: 1555977065
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publish Date: February 2015
  • Page Count: 160
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Literary Collections > Essays
Books > Language Arts & Disciplines > Library & Information Science - General
Books > Literary Collections > LGBT

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-12-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

In his highly quirky, sometimes frustrating collection of short essays, Monson reflects on the communal experience of reading books in libraries and on the nature of libraries themselves. He recalls the pleasures of card catalogues and wonders which books were stored in a now-empty library. He makes the point that the voices that speak to us from books are not always the ones the author intended; sometimes readers leave comments in a book’s margins, or pieces of paper between its pages. One of the more intriguing and effective essays is his open letter to those who have defaced books with their own bigoted or outraged commentary. Most of his pieces began life as ephemera themselves, with Monson leaving them in library books. There are moments of insight and delight, and the idea of exploring literally marginal writings is a bright one, but Monson’s idiosyncratic presentation and prose style can be exasperating, walking a fine line between self-reflection and self-indulgence. The essays are offered alphabetically, and the author’s advice (given in the second essay, “AI”) is to dive right in and read them in whatever order one wishes. In this respect, his book is gracious and respectful toward its intended readers, even if it may prove inaccessible to some of them. Illus. (Feb.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews