Inside a book

Anne here, and I’m following on from Andrea’s lovely post about ornamental bookplates and talking about what else you might find inside the covers of a book. I’m fascinated by all kinds of ways in which people make a mass-produced book, something personal. Sometimes it’s by making a new cover for a book — I did that once for the hardback version of one of my books because I disliked the cover the publisher gave me. And I know some people use cloth covers to disguise the fact they they’re reading a romance — in case some nasty person shames them for their reading taste.

It can be by simply writing your name in a book. It’s a sign of ownership — or at least a claim of ownership. As the youngest of four, most of the books I read were very clearly labeled as Not Mine — in other words my older sisters and brother had put their names inside the front covers.

I was amused to find this written in one of my old childhood books. I’m not sure whether you can make it out, by the first name to be written in it was that of my middle sister. Her name and even the address was later very firmly written over by my oldest sister, stating her ownership in no uncertain terms. And of course, who owns the book now? Yes, the baby sister, but shh, don’t tell.

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