Post-It Flags


I tend to keep post-it flags near at hand. Then books that are more than just the story may find themselves innundated with the little things. For example, take the book I just finished, The Little Book.

This book highlights Vienna Austria, in 1897. At that time Vienna was rich and flying high. But the city and culture are at the edge of a precipice where everything is going to fall apart by the early 20th century. The city is at the apex culturally but is ignoring all the problems that are lying just under the surface. It is an example of the social problems of Europe that lead into the great world wars of the 20th century.

I have around 15 bright orange post-it flags sticking out of the book. They contain brief jottings of my thoughts as I see what is happening to the city and the culture. All my educational studies have been from an overview historical viewpoint with very little of the social and cultural effects observed or discussed. They help me understand what was happening and see what the author, Selden Edwards, is trying to warn us about in his book. It is too easy to see the parallels between the late 19th century Austria with the early 21st century United States. My flags and notes reflect what I discovered.

Part of the notes contain different information – the names of the famous people who get intertwined into the fictional character’s lives. Now, do I leave the flags in the book for the next time I pick it up? The librarian in me says no – the glue on post it notes are hard on book pages if left on. But the researcher and reader in me says differently. I’d like to remind myself of what I thought and learned while reading. I’d see more and new nuances.

For now the post it flags are staying. We’ll see for long term what I decide to do.