"In getting my books," Edgar Allan Poe wrote in 1844, "I have always been solicitous of an ample margin; this is not so much through any love of the thing in itself, however agreeable, as for the facility it affords me of penciling in suggested thoughts, agreements, and differences of opinion, or brief critical comments in general."
For a 2010 Talk of the Town piece, Ian Frazier wrote about a trip he took to the New York Public Library to view the annotated former possessions of various literary luminaries.
In a copy of 'Fifty-five Short Stories from The New Yorker, 1940-1950' once owned by Nabokov, he observed that the former Cornell literature professor had taken the trouble to give each story a grade, neatly penciled in beside its title in the table of contents. Only two stories in the anthology were awarded an A+ grade: J. D. Salinger’s 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' and Nabokov's own 'Colette.'" newyorker.

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