Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dedicated

I have a great fondness for second-hand books and get a kick from knowing that they've been on someone else's shelves before. It's even better when there is a clue about the identity and character of that owner in the form of an inscription on the inside cover (or as in one instance, a letter between the pages).

Came across a great page of classic book inscriptions from the Deuce of Clubs website (discovered via Mountain Murmurs).

Find out why you shouldn't ask Darth Vader to sign your book, how to trick a US vice-president into autographing a book that isn't his, and how to throw your wife off the scent if she thinks you might be getting ... restless.

And then there's the brilliant bookplate (left) found in a book about reincarnation. (If you don't get the joke, you clearly need more coffee!)

And then this just for Sharanya, who asked some time ago whether she could copyright the title of her novel ...

13 comments:

The Angel said...

It's a book?

sympozium said...

There aren't that many used-book stores in town now. Have you visisted The Junk Book Shop in Leboh Ampang?

Regards

boo_licious said...

I love used book stores and yes, there is such a mystery to the previous owners. Once spent half a day just browsing through Ipoh which has a few old bkshops. The one on Lebuh Ampang is pretty good too. only setback is the dust!

bibliobibuli said...

angel - no a book plate - that's like a special sticker you put inside your books to show they are from your personal library

sympozium - i haven't been there yet, guess i'd better explore!

sympozium said...

You can get some nice bookplates in Kinokuniya as well.

Junk Book Shop - it IS dusty and your fingers will look like a mechanic's after browsing in there. But the selection is very good. A drawback is the shops rather irritating sales people who don't know how to let one browse in peace - they are always coming up with "suggestions" (as if we need any where books are concerned) until I told them off one day.

thegrouch said...

i love getting second hand books with inscriptions in them. it always makes me wonder who the giver and receiver was, especially if the inscription was warm and personal. why did the receiver give the book away? i mean, their loss is my gain but why?
junk bookstore is a treasure trove. another favorite haunt for 2nd hand books is in the banglamphu district of bangkok. several shops on every block! i wish i could go more...

Chet said...

I remember a pencilled note inside a book I saw years ago, which I thought I did not buy. But recently, while packing to move, I was looking at the books (of course, I had to stop and look and not just pack), I saw that I had actually bought the book, so I have the pencilled note for keeps.

The book?
A secondhand copy of Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude

The note?
The book is yours, but the sentence is mine. Can we try again, please?

madcap machinist said...

Have had some nice surprises, though none that memorable, from library books (of course) and some finds at Pay Less.

There's a little thrill I get from marking my own books (dog ears, scribbles, coffee/chocolate stains) and maybe later on passing them on to friends or strangers. For the most part people just go "slob!" or "sacrilege!" but, if anything, seeing them again would remind me of the context in which I was reading the books the first time.

There are the signs which endow these books with a glimmer of a soul.

Greenbottle said...

thegrouch...

can you be a bit more specific about the banglampu district 2nd hand book shops? which street(s)? near which skytrain station? ..i'll be in bangkok again mid june and would love to visit used books for a change...

i know they have a really marvellous rows of great bookshops in chiang mai..just near tapae gate..mostly owned by westerners who decide to call this great country (thailand) their new home...

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Thank you, Sharon! That link made me laugh AND helped me with my paranoia :) I am bookmarking it!

I love finding receipts from bookshops far away and years past and notes in my secondhand books too (although I hate scribbles in the margins, generally). I've also found and purchased books that were signed by the author -- two I was particularly delighted at discovering were in Diane DiPrima's "Loba" and Madhavan Kutty's "The Unspoken Curse". Kutty's was extra special because he had passed away just a week before I found my copy!

thegrouch said...

greenbottle: my favourite shop is called Shaman Bookstore on Thanon Khao San (google shaman books khao san). As several links (and LP's Bangkok guide) will tell you, most of its books are catalogued and prices aren't exactly rock bottom. That said, the stuff you find there is awesome and sometimes dirt cheap, especially if a tourist has just unloaded it and the shopowners haven't had time to research the real market price of the books.
There are several other nameless shops and stalls dotted around Thanon Khao San and Soi Rambutri. Just thinking about them makes me itch to go again. May I also suggest you have a glass of iced lime juice at Tom Yam Gung restaurant (also at Khao San) after a sucessful trip to Shaman? :) It's the absolute bomb.

Lotus Reads said...

Nice post, Sharon

I feel lucky to have more than a couple of great second-hand book stores in my area, and when funds are low and I am looking for an even better bargain, there are always the "thrift" shops. It's amazing how many wonderful books people will donate to these shops. Do you have consignment stores in Malaysia?

Anonymous said...

I don't think we have consignment stores, not for books anyway. I guess the problem with having an eternal summer is that everyone wants to be outdoors and eating :)