Historians of books and readers have uncovered a series of general developments that mark significant changes in what is possible and (to some extent) what is normal for readers to do. They are usually formulated as "from . . . to" narratives and sometimes characterized as "revolutions,' but they should not be seen as absolute rules governing all reading at a given time or place. ... This study contains lesson after lesson on the ineluctable specificity of readers and readings, and it is this (I would suggest) rather than the fragmentary nature of the evidence that makes marginalia resistant to grand theories and master narratives.
// William Sherman, Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England, xviNice.
PS: I just posted on writing my Masters thesis in a digital format over on the HASTAC blog, if you're curious.