The One where I talk about annotated books

If you don’t like to read this entry will not be exciting for you. I love to read. Reading is as natural as breathing to me. I learned to read at age 4 by memorizing books on tape. My mom had to set a limit on the number of books I was allowed to check out of the library at one time because if left to my own devices the number would have been crazy. (the number she chose was 8 by the way) When I love an author or a certain book if I find out there is an annotated edition of it, I have to buy it. For those of you that don’t know annotated is a fancy word for footnotes. A scholar who knows a lot about the book and it’s author will edit it with lots of little notes about it. These notes can be explanations for where the author got his ideas, to explanations for words that are not in use anymore, to scholarly discussions about meaning behind certain passages.

Told you if you didn’t like reading you wouldn’t like this entry. It’s like taking something nerdy and making it even more nerdy: and they are awesome! I just finished reading an annotated version of one of my favorite books from when I was a kid The Phantom Tollbooth and it was excellent! If you’ve never read the book I would highly recommend it. It’s in the vein of Alice in Wonderland: a boy goes to a strange land and encounters strange creatures and adventures along the way. It is full of word play and the annotated version pointed out some instances of word play I had never noticed before.

If you have a favorite book that you’ve read over and over check and see if it has an annotated version. Reading an annotated version of a beloved book makes you love it more. Some of my favorite annotated versions are:

Pride and Prejudice/Sense and Sensibility/Persuasion: These are all edited by the same man David M. Shapard and he does such a great job! And as a stylistic note, the footnotes are not at the bottom of the page or in the back, but rather on the opposite page which makes the reading much easier. He just came out with annotated version of Emma and I ordered it on Amazon today!

Anne of Green Gables: Wendy Elizabeth Barrie edited this and I wish she would do the rest of the Anne series. I don’t own this one (yet) but I’ve gotten it out of the library several times.

Charlotte’s Web: Peter F. Neumeyer is the editor. I love annotated versions of my favorite children’s book. It takes me right back to my childhood.

Those are my top 3 but I’m always looking for more annotated books to read. On my to read list (which is massive by the way) are

The Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Holmes, The Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and The Secret Garden.

Alright people that hate reading you can stop gagging I’m done now. I promise tomorrow’s entry will not be about books…maybe TV? =)

Janelle

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