I gingerly fold open the browned and stained cover of my mother's 1962 edition of The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. The title page rests despondently unattached. Dementia first stole my mother's ability to read and then slowly took her life. I cannot ask her about the annotations she made throughout this text. Still, I can read with my mother through its inscribed pencil-written notes. An object blurring the borders between happiness and suffering, presence and absence. In this essay, I contemplate how the physical object of a book and embedded traces of another's reading evoke emotions, memories, and selves.
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