When a drama critic dismisses a show by saying they don't understand it, why isn't this taken as evidence of incompetence?
Commonplace books (or commonplaces) emerged in the 15th century with the availability of cheap paper, mainly in England. They were a way to compile knowledge--essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind--and were used by readers, writers, students and humanists as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator's particular interests. Critically, many of these works are not seen to have literary value to modern editors.