I picked up a new secondhand book, which was great until I found the notes. Seeing someone else in my space like that, someone dissecting a piece of my illusion, it was jarring. I’m not sure you can trust people who write in books. There’s a lonely madness to it, but also something self righteous, insistent, a conceited intellectualism that reeks of loneliness manifest as external criticism. Also, it feels sacrilegious to deface print like that. But since it was already marked, I left a little note in the flyleaf for the next reader, ‘Some jerk ruined this book.’

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