Notes in the Margin

Have you ever picked up an old book that was previously owned by somebody else?  Maybe in a library, or a used book store?  I notice two things pretty consistently whenever I do — almost without fail, the book is highlighted. Underlined. Notes in the margin.  And almost without fail, those markings stop after the first few chapters. Sometimes pages.

I can just picture it… the excitement of a new book (yes, it is exciting), the determination to read it through.  And not just read it, but mark it up and get the most out of it.  Then, as time marches on, reality tends to set in, along with apathy and diminished enthusiasm.  It’s no longer so important to make notes, so long as I read.  But do I really need to read… what’s on TV?

Maybe I’m just rambling because school just started, I have a raft of new books that I’m marking up, and I’m having doubts about my ability to remain consistent… but then again that’s life for so many of us so much of the time, isn’t it?  We jump into a new enterprise with the best of intentions and the noblest of aspirations, only to succumb to the steady grind of busy-ness and circumstance that seems determined to crush our goals and dreams, whether trivial or tremendous.

So, what to do about it?

Well, first of all — read a book. Secondly, make up your mind that whatever you attempt in life you’re not just going to start, but also finish.  And that you won’t just finish, but finish well.  And keep after it, no matter what.


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