More on Writing in Books

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My hardcover copy of The Crofter and the Laird by John McPhee, first printing in 1970 is also inscribed. To Mary Scoville with affectionate good wishes, Frances Haynes, it states. Somehow I feel that Frances had chosen this book especially, over many other books, like a good friend who really knows you would do. Maybe Mary has a Scottish heritage or spent a lovely visit to Scotland. The name Scoville originated in Cornwall, England and has a registered coat of arms. Peoples of the United Kingdom tended to move around from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England so it is easily possible.
The inscription makes the book personal beyond what the author accomplished. A treasure is created by the mere touch of a pen that reveals thoughtfulness. It is an addition that doesn’t come with the buying of a new book. It is also a good writing prompt. Can’t you just create a great story around the inscription inside a book?
James Graves has black and white sketches depicting scenes McPhee wrote about. Remember when publishers did that? It gave an artist a helping hand in getting their work and name into print. The reader benefitted, too. I still remember the pleasure my Nancy Drew books, with pictures, gave me when I was growing up. My Nancy Drew books came from the school library but I wonder how many an Aunt set a reader on fire with an inscribed Nancy Drew book.

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