Journals and Commonplace Books

It was becoming a habit with [Thoreau] now to work back over his journals and to reread books, to reengage old subjects in the light of new interests, to revise and recopy his own earlier journal work, measuring, weighing, culling, and sorting his materials.  
–Robert D. Richardson, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind

I ought not to offer a record of these days, interests, recuperations, without including a certain old, well-thumb’d common-place book, filled with favorite excerpts, I carried in my pocket for three summers, and absorb’d over and over again, when the mood invited. I find so much in having a poem or fine suggestion sink into me (a little then goes a great ways) prepar’d by these vacant-sane and natural influences.
–Walt Whitman, Specimen Days

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