What is a commonplace book?
Commonplace books are a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They have been kept from antiquity, and were kept particularly during the Renaissance and in the nineteenth century. Such books are similar to scrapbooks filled with items of many kinds: sententiae (often with the compiler's responses), notes, proverbs, adages, aphorisms, maxims, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, prayers, legal formulas, and recipes.
King Henry VI part 1, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1977.
My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel; I know not where I am, nor what I do;
— HENRY VI PART 1, ACT 1 SCENE 5
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked. — Allen Ginsberg, "Howl"
"I am ash. The earth is ash. The earth is a goddess. Therefore, I am not dead." (An epitaph from a grave on the Via Latina)