Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Secret Lives of Books: Inscriptions, Inspiring and Otherwise

One reason I love to collect antique books is the fun I have reading the inscriptions. Inscriptions are an important part of a book's history as they give us information on previous owners, dates gifted, and, oftentimes, the thoughts of the previous reader about the book. I always ask my mom or husband to write an inscription when they gift me books and I proudly sign my name and the 21st century date below all inscriptions in my antique books.

I've got just a couple funny ones to share today. First up is this 1945 copy of Best Short Stories of Jack London

Inside is a funny little poem:

The errant cat though long astray
Comes back to home at last one day.
Ah! May this book when lent be feline
Enough to make a homeward beline!
 Zeta Schooler
Dec. 31, 1949
Raymond, Wash.

Next up is this history book from 1942: The Growth of the American People and Nation by Mary G. Kelty. 

This inscription cracks me up:
In case of fire or flood, throw this book out last.

Hmmm...sounds like a winner! Perhaps I'll add it to the kids' homeschool rotation. Ha!!