Things are more interesting on the margins, in the mare in cognito surrounding the text. Text, way-pointed by page numbers, is the author’s country, familiar to him or her and revealed to me surely, page by page. What I think myself is often more mysterious, and the beautiful geometry of a well-designed book gives me room–empty land–to be alone with my thoughts.
It’s the place, too, where, as Reshan Richards observed, we find the difference between the author’s intention and the way the words are received.
There’s also something pleasantly subversive about writing in books–we are told from a very young age not to write in books.
And, finally, there is something special about taking a long time to read a book. Says Henry Miller in The Wisdom of the Heart,
The fourth element is Time, which is another way, as Goethe so well knew, of saying–growth.