WHY I MARKED BOOKS. It occurred to me that the Hawking Index might be biased against fiction books because readers are more likely to mark passages that are difficult so they can revisit them. I know that all through college that was the only reason I marked books. Then I remembered the time that a friend of mine borrowed a copy of the English translation of Dante’s Inferno to read for the next day’s class. When he returned it, he told me that he was impressed that I had marked with a little circle “all the most important lines”. I told him that I put the mark beside any line that I did not understand.

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