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Friday, June 24, 2011

Reading with a pencil in hand

"There are two kinds of reader: those who read with a pencil in their hand, and those who don't. (For "pencil", you may read, if you like, "pencil or pen", though inking marginalia strikes me as decadent and hubristic.) For me, a pencil is a reading tool, and since bookish types are no less prone than anyone else to commodity fetishism, I have developed a profound interest in my favoured kind of implement, surely among the greatest inventions of mankind: the mechanical pencil."

I am one of those people.  Except that my writing tool requirements are incredibly complex, depending on the topic, the type of paper, the amount of comments I am likely to make, whether it's sunny today, whether I am reading fiction or non-fiction.  This choice of writing tool has the same importance to me as deciding what to wear in the morning, what to eat for dinner or where to go on holiday.  This is big stuff.  I write on my hands, on additional pieces of paper, on kitchen towels, calendars, diaries, and...uhm...sometimes on my own body too.  There is always something that needs to be written down, like a word I hear, the lines of a song I'm listening to, fragments of phone conversations with significant others.  Sometimes drawing my thoughts feels good.  This usually translates into drawings of complex-patterned mazes to which only I have the key.  I could never understand people that read without taking notes.  In a way I'm jealous.  I need the writing to feel the connection to both the text and the context.

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