"Cobbled together by literate peoples, commonplace books served as repositories for whatever someone thought fit to record: medical recipes, jokes, verse, prayers, mathematical tables, aphorisms, and especially passages from letters, poems, or books. Ben Johnson kept one; so did John Milton, John Locke, and Thomas Jefferson. In fact, one might think that most writers would have fashioned such handy compendia, yet Shakespeare's has never been found."
-Artur Krystal, "Too True," Harper's Magazine, February 2008
Small wonder blogging suits me.
For years I diligently updated my commonplace books, carefully taping into place images and passages clipped from magazine articles or transcribing those found in books.
Blogs might be considered the contemporary equivalent to the commonplace book, but where the books are tools of edification, blogs are essentially ego-driven affairs. Still, since I started posting to HH, my commonplace books have been neglected. Maybe I'm just an egotist.