Wednesday, June 21, 2006

do you need a prescription for an inscription?

you know what i've noticed? nobody inscribes books anymore.

i remember back in the day when i'd peruse the used bookstore, i'd love to pick up a book and look to see who the giver, recipient and the occasion was. like on a book about a dog who is bad but its owners love it anyway:

dearest timmy,
you're my favorite.
love grandma
christmas 1968


or a picture book about the Rocky Mountains:

darling,
remember when we enjoyed this view?
yours always,
kenneth


or on a murder mystery in large print:

Doris,
Hope that prosthetic eye is treating you well!
get well soon.
Maude



what the hell? are the only people who write in books authors? and they're dedicating them to people they don't even know? what, are people trying to add the option to dump the book on eBay as an added bonus or something? or maybe the fact that everything is typed out now, people's handwriting is completely illegible? (as evidenced by the atrocious penmanship on a birthday card, which was only understandable because my friend has been trying to decipher my handwriting for 12 years now)

what gives, book lovers?

10 comments:

DiceGRRL said...

Giving a book can be like giving a card, but so much more to it. My grandmother - god bless her - still inscribes! The last book I got from her, was scrapbooking related, she knows i want to preserve the heritage and memories of what is left of the family, so the book was important.
Besides herm when I was in high school my youth minister inscribed a bible gift for me. It makes hte book more meaningful.

girlspit said...

I give a lot of books as gifts because I'm a big nerd, and well, nerdiness is genetic. Anyway, I always inscribe because I like to get inscribed books. It's nice to remember when/where I got a book and who gave it to me.

By the way, the prosthetic eye inscription is the coolest one I've ever seen :)

Ale said...

sorry girl... i was brought up with a strikt idea that THOU SHALT NOT write anything in a book!!! do not dirty it, eat while reading, drink while reading... etc etc... also I was taught to make covers for the books i was reading from paper to protect the original cover.

so yah, no inscrpitions from me.. you'll be lucky if I let you TOUCH the book i give you with ungloved hands!

Becky said...

i not only inscribe, i make notes in the margins and highlight text i like. i draw the line at dog-earing pages, though.

my granny is the only one who ever gives me inscribed books. i did find an autographed copy of "A Wrinkle in Time" at a used bookstore once, though. for an author-signed children's book, it's still pretty cool.

Jon said...

I'm with girlspit, that Maude is not only a classy lady, but she really cares. By the way, I believe Maude put that inscription inside a copy of "Through the Looking Glass" that she gave to dear sweet Doris.

Lia said...

It's sad - you're right. I remember getting a book from a great uncle and asking him to inscribe it, and his being surprised. But he did it. And then I got the same book as a gift, with my name on it, a few weeks later. So now I have two copies, neither of which I can give away.

But I was, like Ale, brought up that books are sacred and YOU DON'T WRITE IN THEM! Inscriptions, though, are different. But I haven't been able to make myself write on an actual page.

The most recent book-gift I got came with a card inside, which I plan to leave there. Not quite an inscription, but close.

Katie said...

Oh man, I not only write in books, I also tear them into tiny shreds and make picture frames of them! But besides that, I only ever got inscribed books from my Aunt, but I loved them.

Syar said...

I don't usually give books to people. Either I keep them for myself or I get other people book vouchers.

I've only recently made a habit of writing my name, date of purchase and possibly place of purchase on my books lately mostly because the minute I get them, I read them in a few hours, finish them and then sit quietly to ponder meanings of the story.

but I love looking at inscriptions too! it makes me feel like I'm reading a bit of the story of the person who's read the book's story.

willowtree said...

I don't remember if I've ever received a book with an inscription. I think the closest I've gotten to a book that was inscribed was a book with my name printed on the cover. On the other hand, I don't think I've ever inscribed a book either. I had an unfortunate meeting with a Bible when I was 3. Never wrote in anything but a notebook again. Most of the books I receive now are sent through a dot com, so most likely, the person who gave me the book, has never even touched it. Anything that is to be said, comes on a separate sheet of paper.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I've never received any, but I've inscribed books I've given to others.

I love hand-written letters.