Generally speaking, just as people say things over the internet that they would never dare say to someone’s face, abusive marginalia is not meant for the author’s eyes. In an age when furious readers fire off torrents of poorly spelled invective directly to the author via email or Twitter, simply writing rude comments in a copy of the book that the author will never see seems the height of good manners.
This post is meant for the Guardian, readers writers edit suite whatever. What time is it? Trends in print sales? Should there be some guidance on web policy? The print version recently is mostly negative on web. So what else is proposed?
In this way, then, the centuries of marginalia in printed books make up a kind of invisible republic of readers and writers having extended conversations through history. By contrast, the fact that you can’t scribble in the margins of electronic books reflects the paradoxical atomisation of an internet age in which everything shouts about how “social” it is. And so here is one more reason to cherish the printed book: you can talk back to it, and to future readers.
Nonsense, surely? Is there some sort of archive on Unlimited Talk?
By the way, thanks for the discount tokens. But I stick to my forecast. either print Guardian Monday to Friday will cease during 2017 or at least the possibility will reach some sort of public conversation.