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

Letter to a Future Lover Marginalia Errata Secrets Inscriptions and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries An exuberant expansive cataloging of the intimate physical relationship between a reader and a book Readers of physical books leave traces marginalia slips of paper fingerprints highlighting insc

  • Title: Letter to a Future Lover: Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries
  • Author: Ander Monson
  • ISBN: 9781555977061
  • Page: 203
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An exuberant, expansive cataloging of the intimate physical relationship between a reader and a book.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 readersn exuberant, expansive cataloging of the intimate physical relationship between a reader and a book.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.

    One thought on “Letter to a Future Lover: Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries”

    1. Short version: I am not the reader for this book.Move along, now, as that's probably all you need to know.If you're still here, it's either to tell me I read this incorrectly and am a moron OR it's because you also read this incorrectly and want to feel kinship with another bad reader.Ok, I guess it could also be because you just want to read the rest of my thoughts on this book because you are bored and are killing time.So you know how when you're at that function and there's a sociology profes [...]

    2. I started out into the idea of this book, essays addressed to ephemera found in libraries. But after a few, the concept grew tedious, repetitive, uninteresting. A stretch to find anything to say that hadn't been said. I got halfway and realized I was never going back.I think the original publication method of an individual essay in a journal was probably a better approach.

    3. Letter to a Future Lover's cover promises marginalia, errata, secrets, inscriptions, and ephemera found in libraries. I was totally expecting funny stories from librarians across the nation about the oddball things left in library books. I've even heard tell that someone in my own library system found an honest-to-goodness cooked piece of bacon pressed in a library book. Bacon. As a bookmark. Maybe it's urban legend, but that's the type of stuff I was expecting.Instead, Letter to a Future Lover [...]

    4. Another reviewer summed this up for me: not what I thought I would find given the title and description, which is fine (sometimes great magic is found in such a place!), but what I found I am clearly not the reader for, and what I found also irked me in the way one gets irked when one feels that if one were just this much smarter (a bit more like the author, e.g.) one would (a) not expect what one expected and (b) have been able to immerse oneself in what one found.Tried to say that in a smart w [...]

    5. This sounded so interesting: Monson writes short essays about library books and marginalia or other things people have left behind in books. National Public Radio calls if, "So funny and so smart (but never smug)" I think he is smug. He uses words, words, words, that seem to be meant to overwhelm a reader with his wit and wittiness that is so clever that I can't understand much of it. But, I'm not so very clever. On Special Libraries: "Knowing an infinity is there and unknowable (for that is wha [...]

    6. Ander Monson's new book is one of the most interesting books of nonfiction I've read. Though I did not have the opportunity to get my hands on the unbound copy (and I'm kicking myself for it now), it certainly brings up the question of what makes a book. It romanticizes the tangible nature of books, but also acknowledges the movement of time, the development of technology, and what it means to be a reader in the 21st century. Monson's lyrical essays are best read slowly, savored. They do not pro [...]

    7. I went with 2 stars instead of 1 because I wrote it off and started skimming pretty early on so I didn't dedicate enough attention to it to deem it completely worthless.I'm bummed because I had such high hopes for this book but it wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be things found in library books and that sounded really interesting. Some parts, like the political defacing in the margins of a book about homosexuality or the inscriptions in old books, were exactly what I wanted and I real [...]

    8. I have the crazy unbound box edition, which forced me to think about new ways to read it, because it was an odd artifact-- I didn't want to just shove it in my bag, because then it'd get beat up, and what to do with the pages I'd already read, how to keep it all together. I felt, more than I usually do, that this forced me into a new relationship with reading, though it was one that was maybe undercut by the way all the pages were the same size, and all pretty stiff, printed on cardstock rather [...]

    9. This book gets high marks for concept and amusing illustrations. It definitely delivers on ephemera. The problem is its clever prose. Monson, evidently a writer of conspicuous originality, is content to conjure with platitude.Though a Bible has no built-in disposal ritual, and thus it can be burned, one should generally avoid burning sacred books because of fire's association with the devil and the underworld.Does Monson actually fear the devil and the underworld (that might be interesting) or i [...]

    10. I was suckered into trying this book based on David Ulin's review in the Los Angeles Times. In particular, I wanted to see how Ander Monson set up the interaction between author and reader. "Write in this book," Monson instructs. This line is followed by a blank space, like this:Wow, was I tempted. But it was a library book, aborrowedbook. I won't tell you whether or not I participated.Gave up: May 11, 2015

    11. I suppose some people will really enjoy this collection. I mostly feel it could have been superb in someone else's hands. Can I hire the South African writer Ivan Vladislavić to rewrite the book. Same concept and everything, but with a laser-like focus.

    12. As someone who has spent many years working in and enjoying libraries I see this library ephemera every day and it still is magical to me. Monson touches on the magical aspect of these found objects.I believe you must be a poetry enthusiast to appreciate what Monson is trying to accomplish here. The writing is very free form and has the feel of a longer poem. Some passages are a bit focused on the author as subject and this switch in focus from the ephemera to the author could be a bit of a turn [...]

    13. This was marvelously written. I enjoyed it very much, and found the poetry of the prose very moving. Though there was a sense of distance between I and the writer, there was no distance between myself and the words. They went through me and stitched me together, though I hadn't even realized I hadn't been whole.Absolutely excellent set of essays. Ander Monson builds bridges with words-- bridges, and cathedrals, and dams. And then he breaks them all down, just to build something new. He has a gre [...]

    14. I gave up at page 50. This book needs a new title. I thought it would be a Post Secret-type collection of various surprising things found in returned library books. Instead, it's just a collection of pretentious prose-poetry-type essays. Boring! Only read if you need to get drowsy enough for sleep. It's amazing that crap like this gets published. So it gets no stars from me.

    15. I received a bound version of the essays from First Reads. The first essay titled "A" made think I am going to love this book, but the remaining essays published in alphabetical order by title, diminished that initial opinion despite brilliant paragraphs and insights scattered in the essays. I wish there were more photos and illustrations to support the subtitle. To quote a sentence from one essay:" Sometimes you need to grow into a book, or steal and haul it across the country only to discard [...]

    16. This book challenges the paradigm of what a library book really is.Only being mildly courageous I only scribbled inconspicuously at the beginning. Then I was too terrified of censure since it is not, in fact, my own book. I have observed plenty of other library books with great marks all over the pages, but this is a brand new copy with February of this year on a new book sticker affixed to the spine.I have spoken of reading this to several people. The reason I like it in particular is that not [...]

    17. Fine in theory, not worth it in reality. I would agree with another reviewer that the author seemed high or drunk or "something" throughout most of this book. The essays seemed to be more inner dialogue ramblings and just did not connect for me. This book put me to sleep EVERY night for two weeks. So, great as a sleep aid. Not great as a book. As an alternative that isn't filled with miscellaneous thoughts of a poetry professor, see foundmagazine/

    18. this was awful to get through. about a quarter of the essays were interesting and enjoyable to read. the other 75 percent was like reading a 17 year old's attempt at deep thoughts. I get what he's trying to do, but he just doesn't do it well. we get it - you are resentful of technology and the way it's changed library systems.

    19. 10 out of five stars. as the blurb says, check in your card catalog under "g" > genius > ander monsonmonson has the ability to write/evoke love family place world galaxy and universe from a scribble on a check out slip.

    20. Collected essays inspired by the things left in library books - this is the type of book I'm always drawn to, the type that I could see myself writing, and yet Monson's take was worlds different from what I expected.First thoughts: There are moments of genius in these essays. Other times, I'm confused. I know they weren't originally bound and ordered this way, so I wonder if there's an order to the essays that would reveal a different narrative. I found some of the topics extremely interesting w [...]

    21. 3.5 Stars (bound version)For me, the genre of this book lies somewhere in between creative nonfiction and prose poetry, though I feel you'll enjoy this book more if you approach Monson's essays the way you would a collection of poetry (expect repetitive themes/motifs, experimental/unconventional sentence structure, no real progression/momentum over the course of the book, slow reading preferred). Monson does a really good job balancing abstract concepts with both metaphorical imagery and purely [...]

    22. A charming small book about libraries, how we used to catalog books, things found in books, things you can do to books, and the value of paper books in our lives, now and over time. I'm recommending to two library friends.

    23. Beautiful, gorgeous, amazing read. On the importance of books and our deep connection with them and also the worlds that spawn and bloom that have their roots in a book. I read the "hopscotch" version and I felt rebellious the entire time.

    24. This was an eerie book that I had a challenging time comprehending as a whole . The most interesting part was a small transcript from late poet Steve Orlen's notes and manuscripts:"9. I think too much. I will go on this trip to an unfamiliar place to find Joseph and talk to him and live in the present." (15)

    25. An ode to the connection people share with books, the author wants to connect with you, the reader. He wants to share his love of the written word, but also chastise those who feel worthy to write in library books. He cherishes marginalia, but comes down with full fury on those who believe their primitive scrawl would compare to the sacred text. It would also seem that the author may have a DFW fetish as the marginalia, footnotes and perhaps the University of Arizona connection might give that a [...]

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