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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Annotated readings

I recently subscribed to a couple of magazines and a flood of issues hit my mailbox this week. I spent this morning reading two of them, Fast Company and Chicago page-by-page and refused to get out of bed until I finished.

I love magazines. I love the short snippets of reading that come together to embrace you. I love dog-earing pages so I can research something I read later. I love sharing what I learned with my friends. I love the conversation that follows a great issue. There's something really special about this collection that has been packaged together for you. Sure you can find all of those articles and images online, but when it is all bound together it seems to have so much more purpose.

The February issue of Fast Company is a great example of this. The central idea of the issue is the power of creative conversation and how important it is to collaborate and share in order to grow. (I definitely recommend looking up some of the articles from this issue, starting with "From Facebook To Pixar: 10 Conversations that Changed Our World")

Another part of this issue that I loved was Baratunde Thurston's One More Thing on the future of reading (read that, too!). It starts out:

I loved that the original Kindle let me annotate a book. Being able to add and search for my own thoughts amid the previously locked words of others without physically damaging the original opened up a world of possibilities. What if you could download books that had been pre-annotated? I would pay extra to read Freakonomics with commentary by Paul Krugman,The New Jim Crow with notes from editors at The Nation, or the Bible annotated by the creators of South Park. A book could always inspire new layers of meaning, but now it can host that inspiration and a slew of associated conversations.
What a wonderful idea. I've definitely spent a better part of my day thinking about what annotated books I would want to read, and who I would like to have annotated them. I'm feeling overwhelmed by my list. There are definitely some books I'd love to have pre-annotated by people working in the same field, but as Thurston points out, the creators of South Park would have great Bible commentary. A few of my ideas:

What about you? What pre-annotated book would you like to read, and who would you like it to be annotated by? The possibilities truly seem endless.


Flossie said...

Love this idea. How about Life of Pi annotated by Gabriel Garcia Marquez?

Do you prefer print over iPad? Because I feel like i linger more over print. I go through an iPad magazine so quickly, even one I pay for.

Alaina Buzas said...


What a great idea! And I do prefer print over iPad for magazines, but it might be the hoarder side of me.

Joe said...

Oh wow, that is an intriguing idea. I would want Steinbeck and Hemingway for the classic side of things. I think Neil Gaiman would be fascinating, too.

Anonymous said...

I'd certainly fit the magazine-aholic description. The annotation idea is cool. Been reading a lot of poetry by Charles Bukowski lately and in one from about 1960 he mentioned reading the latest issue of The New Yorker, So it'd be intriguing to see what his annotations would be about any recent issue of The New Yorker.

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