In a way, readers write their own “books” through their notes, which they fill with their memories, work and affect.
The blank spaces at the beginning of books are often full of annotations. Notes on the book's ownership, including clues to where it came from and who it belonged to, are found here as well as notes that introduce the text and record the reader’s conclusions. Readers also used these areas as a place to write reminders or notes of a more frivolous nature. Even when the annotations seem unrelated to the text, interactions between two written messages are never neutral. Because handwritten notes are the first thing the reader sees upon opening the book, they in some ways shape the way future readers approach the text.
This prophecy of Nostradamus (1503-1566) is said to have predicted the execution of Charles I of England (1649). Why was it written at the beginning of a volume of Conclusions de la faculté de Paris (1717), which examines the loyalty of subjects to their king, the security of monarchs and peace across the State? In any case, the juxtaposition of these two theses casts serious doubt on the integrity of the regime’s promises.