Goofy as this physical version sounds, I could imagine a digital overlay version that could go along with digital books in much the same way that Google Maps has digital overlays. The problem lies with registration and location of words to do the overlay properly. The UI would also be a major bear. Hypothes.is has really done a spectacular job in their version, the only issue is that it requires doing it all in a browser and isn’t easily usable in any e-readers.
This gave me an epiphany — a grand vision of the future of social reading. I imagined a stack of transparent, margin-size plastic strips containing all of my notes from “Infinite Jest.” These, I thought, could be passed out to my friends, who would paste them into their own copies of the book and then, in turn, give me their marginalia strips, which I would paste into my copy, and we’d all have a big virtual orgy of never-ending literary communion.It was a hopelessly clunky idea: a vision right out of a Library Science seminar circa 1949. 1
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