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Book Inscriptions

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Book-ending my novel

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
A while ago, I started a thread about book dedications, but inscriptions in books given as gifts are interesting, as this Guardian article shows:

Dedicated followers: collectors of book inscriptions share their notes

I own about thirty books of writing advice, many of which have been inscribed to a fledgling writer by friends and relatives. It makes me wonder what happened to their careers.

Just recently, I bought a paperback copy of one of my favourite books, Tom Neale’s An Island To Oneself, which I haven’t read for thirty years. It smells fusty and the pages are sepia with age. The owner’s name is written in black ink on the title page: Wilkinson. Strangely and, presumably, for personal reasons, in the same handwriting and in pencil on the back of the front cover Wilkinson has written a part-lyric from I’d Rather Go Blind:

Something told me it was over
When I saw you and her talkin'
Something deep down in my soul said, 'Cry, girl'
When I saw you and that girl walkin' around

Nothing similar occurs in An Island To Oneself, so maybe the paperback was the only paper around when Wilkinson was in a reflective mood.

This is as far as I’m going as book detective! :rolleyes:

Do you own books with cryptic inscriptions?

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Book-ending my novel