Today I finally got to see page proofs for my forthcoming book. To my great delight, they were typeset with footnotes rather than endnotes -- exactly as I had requested. These days footnotes are increasingly rare in academic books; I think their disappearance has something to do with the fact that it's cheaper for the publishers to produce books with endnotes, and is also connected to the (untested, as far as I know) bit of folk wisdom that books with footnotes sell fewer copies outside of the academic market. hence: endnotes in the back of the book are increasingly the default position, and footnotes are a special exception.

In my case I really wanted footnotes both because I hate flipping to the back of books to look at endnotes (especially when several seconds of flipping through pages yields some useless bit of information like "for a contrary view, see Rogers 1997b," which then sends me flipping through more pages to see what the heck Rogers 1997b is) and because academic writing, at least my style of academic writing, depends on footnotes. Not strictly part of the main text, they are nonetheless part of the argument, as they constitute small tributaries in the overall stream of things -- brief asides to tackle important, but not crucially central, considerations. And having them right there on the bottom of the page is a great help to the reader, I think.

So I'm very pleased that the press has agreed with me and typeset the book with footnotes. And in Garamond, too, which quite a respectable-looking font!

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