I adore footnotes. Honestly. While doing research (or just reading history books for fun), few things delight me more than those little gobbets hidden in the lower margin. Even when reading about a topic that interests me greatly, a digression proves too inviting to resist.
Let’s look at the book I’m currently reading, a history of the Battle of Britain called With Wings Like Eagles by Michael Korda. Now, apart from being a well written, engaging book with an ample bibliography, Korda makes use of footnotes. Enjoy this snippet (digression taken while discussing the difference between Luftwaffe and RAF bases):
“Our quarters at a former Luftwaffe base near Hamburg…not only had indoor baths and showers but featured a mysterious-looking porcelain basin set in the wall which was too small, too high up, and too elaborately decorated to be a urinal, and which turned out to be a flushing vomitorium for those who had drunk too much beer” (64).
Will that ever feature into my works? Probably not. Will that ever be something I’ll need to know? Again, probably not, but I’ll bet it will make for interesting conversation fodder.