Book handling service
In Active Reading, I mentioned, “I am sure I’ve read of someone offering a service to dog-ear and markup books for aristocracy so it looked like they were well-read….” A combination of my booklist and Amazon search inside got me there:
The Social Life of Information, John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid p.187 “readers rely on more informal warrants, too. For example, they may examine a report to see whose handwriting appears in the margin, whether the spine is broken, how well the pages are thumbed, where the highlights fall, or whose names are on the routing slip. (The Irish writer Flann O’Brien imagined a book-handling service for the culturally insecure. For a fee, book handlers would crease the spines of your books, turn down pages, mark passages, put intelligent comments in the margins, or, for a slightly greater sum, insert tickets from operas or classic plays as bookmarks.) Material objects are good at picking up such incidental traces, and people are good at making the incidental significant.” References O’Brien 1977, p.22 O’Brien, Flann [Myles na Gopaleen]. 1977. The Best of Myles. London: Picador.
So that’s a little insight into the chinese whispers going on inside my brain. Welcome. Come on in.