At this time of year a number of whimsical and quirky little books pop up to charm and delight and get stuffed into stockings. One of the best I have seen so far is Dedicated to…: The Forgotten Friendships, Hidden Stories and Lost Loves Found in Second-hand Books by W.B. Gooderham.
It does what is says – Gooderham has been collecting for decades and the dedications he has found in these books that somehow ended up in second-hand bookshops are by turns heart-quickening, hilarious, poignant and just plain puzzling.
I quite like but am slightly horrified by the dedication to a new husband in memory of a wonderful honeymoon, of Agatha Christie’s Death On the Nile, a book in which murder and mayhem ensue on a honeymoon: one wonders what happened – or did they just honeymoon in Egypt? These dedications are like transmissions from a distant star, appearing suddenly, without context and disappearing again, with no clue as to what happend to either dedicator or dedicatee, or indeed, sometimes, why any particular book is even considered appropriate – and given the books, the mind does boggle somewhat!
You can jump over here and see more of W.B’s collectings and gleanings…