“When thumbing a book” says Hugh Harrington, in the Journal of the American revolution, “and contemplating a purchase, I thumb from the back.” He is looking for an index, preferably, and footnotes or endnotes, most definitely. In fact, he goes so far as to say he will replace the book on its shelf for the sole reason of there being no footnotes.1
Fiction or not, footnotes have a special place in literature — and a practical one too. But I happen to like them on the web for reasons of my own.
- It might be apt to mention that he is talking of non–fiction (historic?) literature, not just any book. ↩