A note about footnotes

Here’s a quirky think about me when I read non-fiction. I love footnotes. Not the kinds that merely cite a reference, but the kind that contain nuggets of information, like gold, somehow related to what you are reading. When I look at a page and see a footnote, I get excited, the way I used to get when opening a box of Lucky Charms and digging for the toy buried within the cereal. I don’t know why this is. Somehow, my mind was fed the idea that the author is providing some of the most significant insights within footnotes, ironic as that may seem.

I especially like witty footnotes, and as an example, here’s one that I just finished reading in Our Oriental Heritage:

*In this medley of now almost forgotten kingdoms there were periods of literary and artistic–above all, architectural–creation; there were wealthy capitals, luxurious palaces, and mighty potentates; but so vast is India, and so long is its history, that in this congested paragraph we must pass by, without so much as mentioning them, men who for a time thought they dominated the earth. For example, Vilkramaditya, who ruled the Chalyukans for half a century (1076-1126), was so successful in war that (like Nietzsche) he proposed to found a new chronological era, dividing history into before him and after him. Today he is just a footnote.

Is there anyone else out there that shares my child-like fascination with footnotes?

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.