The compilation of commonplace books has fallen from custom. It used to be the habit of youth to begin assembling, and a habit of old age to publish, a lifelong collection of things that have meant something to us, our favourites: witty, moving, wise, curious or simply useful. Perhaps we have no time now, or perhaps we’d have no readers. Perhaps, even, we have become arrogant and wish only to provide platforms for our own reflections, not those of others.
Matthew Paris, Why it’s time to revive the commonplace book » The Spectator.