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Friday, June 27, 2008


posted by on June 27 at 11:24 AM

Bookshelves of Doom has links to two amazing blogs. One is a Live Journal collection of things that are written in the margins of used books. A recent example:

This was in a copy of Inherit the Wind that I checked out of the public library a few years ago; I had this margin note typed up on my computer along with Mencken quotes:

Do you have a problem and no one else can help, and you want revenge, contact us at:

And no, I’ve never tried to contact them.

And BoD also links to The Book Inscriptions Project, which runs scans of inscriptions found in books. As an example, found in a copy of Hardball by Chris Matthews:


I’ve always been terrified that inscribed books that I’ve sold would wind up on something like this blog. There a few notes from exes that I’ve tried to black out before donating to Goodwill, but I’m almost afraid that blacking it out would just cause whoever bought the book to pay even more attention to it. And I can’t bring myself to tear the page out or throw the book away. I’m generally against inscribing books, for just this reason. But I’m sure glad that other people do, so that I can read them.

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Inscriptions, or any reader writing for that matter, make the book priceless. Without them, jeez. Max would have never met Ms. Cross.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 27, 2008 11:39 AM

The coolest things I've ever found were a long short story (I hope) that involved the character being raped in her sleep, that was both a highly-charged erotic description and an outpouring of rage; and a long inscription by the author, historian Bernard De Voto, to a young woman, consisting of effusive praise of her abilities and future, in one of his novels (which are not good novels, but hey, it was a buck).

Posted by Fnarf | June 27, 2008 12:41 PM

I have a friend who frequently receives books as gifts - often the same books (he's one of these lucky people for whom other people constantly feel compelled to give gifts - that in itself has always cracked me up) and he always said he'd wish people would stop inscribing them so he could re-gift. (i think this was after he'd received his 7th copy of TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE) Now when I give him a book I think he might enjoy I inscribe it, BUT on a removable post it note, which I happily inscribed was so he could easily regift. I started it mostly as a joke, but now everyone who knows him gives him books with post it inscriptions!

I tend to be a fan of inscribed used books, but a post it is another option.

Posted by dawicksta | June 27, 2008 12:56 PM

I love the Suicide Guidebook inscription on the Book Inscriptions Project site:

Posted by Sarah | June 27, 2008 1:35 PM

on a similar note, here's another collection:

I contributed item 17.

Posted by Xenu, Warrior Thetan | June 27, 2008 1:43 PM

haha, the a-team! no way. they're early 20 something grosso oi punks who regularly piss me off by starting fights at nearly every party i go to.

Posted by emmmm | June 27, 2008 2:52 PM

i bought a (ghastly, terrible) rod mccuen book at a thrift store only because of the flowery handwriting in the inside cover that said "thank you for YOU."

Posted by pretentious | June 27, 2008 2:56 PM

Rod McKuen is not ghastly and terrible. He is ghastly and MAGNIFICENT. You should hear his record albums.

Posted by Fnarf | June 27, 2008 5:39 PM

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