Monday, October 28, 2013

Message in a book (AM)

I give books as presents quite often. And pretty much always to kids. Because kids have so much shit already. And books really are the gift that keep on giving, especially for little kids who like to read books over and over and over. Oh sure, at the time of gift giving/receipt books are the gift that a kid couldn't give a shit about because there are all the shiny gifts they've just received to play with, but trust me books really are keepers.

You know who else like to give books to kids? Really old people like great aunts and great grandmothers. I sure never had any great grandparents. There were a couple of great aunts around, one on my mum's side who, according to family legend*, used to make her husband eat dinner outside and another on my dad's side who, according to family legend*, once gave my dad a ball of silver foil as some kind of cruel joke of a present. So you can bet I never got presents from those crazy old ladies. I'm not complaining, I didn't need presents, I'm just saying that's not how I know what old ladies give there great grand kids/nieces, I know because the books they give end up in op shops. And then they end up at my house. 

For some time now a great favourite if Baby's has been a Walt Disney Peter Pan book and every time I open it I read the inscription.

Great great (!) aunt Cassie bought the book for Leigh inscribed it and then later realised she spelled the name wrong. Shit. Shit. That is always what I thought happened but now as I write this and look at the inscription I realise that isn't what happened at all. Leigh must have corrected it later. Whatever happened I can't help but feel a bit sad. Like G.G. Aunt Cassie was invited to the birthday party of some barely known great niece or nephew and thought she did everything right but she spelled the name wrong and some years later the book ended up in the op shop. It's a pretty boring book and there are a million books I'd rather be reading to Baby so I understand why it ended up in the op shop, but that doesn't make me feel better for Aunt Cassie, it makes me feel worse.

Recently Baby has gotten interested in an abridged version of The Magic Pudding. 

At least Lachlan may have hung on to this copy for a little longer. A lot longer. But look at this inscription. Under the sign off and date does that say "(Nan Giles**, your great grandmother)"? First she is calling him "Lachlan darling" and next she has to explain who she is, as if the sign off isn't enough. 

It's all too much to bare. Or am I just feeling sensitive because I just watched Dr Drew's sex addiction rehab show? Either way, alls I know is that I am never inscribing a book again!

*The legends went something like that, forgive me keepers of the legends if the details are not entirely accurate.
**I actually have no idea if that says Giles, old lady hand writing is hard to decipher, even though this is similar to my own nana's handwriting which I could always read fine. But I did know who she was so that would have helped. 

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