I love buying old books. I bought a few on ebay today for our homeschool “history” textbooks, such as “Our Hero, General U. S. Grant” not a reprint, an original from 1885! One of the things that I love most about old books is reading the inscription. I always look for them and the ones that really tug my heart-strings are from mothers to their children. Sometimes it’s on Christmas or a birthday, which I think makes it more special especially with such old book, you realize those people are probably not on this Earth anymore. Somehow through all the donations, sales, piles in Goodwill bins, shipping all over the world, the book has remained in tact and carrying on that love, that sentiment felt in that one moment in time.
I started to inscribe my kids books recently and I do believe it makes them more special. It is like a little time capsule when I set a date on them. I hope they look back on them one day in the future and remember their mom loved them and thought about them.
Here is one I wrote in Alice in Wonderland. I used a quote from the book and added my thoughts.
I have so many faults, but when my children think back on their childhood I would like them to think that their mom loved them, enjoyed reading to them and loved books…and I hope they will love books too. I hope they will pick up these books one day, long after I’m gone, and feel like I am there with them at least for a moment. And if the Lord tarries and both my children and I are passed, I hope whoever finds this book takes a moment to wonder who we were and think about how this book was loved.
Here are my 5 tips for Inscribing Books for you Children-
-Set a date to when it was given and who gave it.
“July 12, 1997. Silva, 37 years my Poe book has been on my bookshelf. May you enjoy yours as much. Love, Dad.”
-Mark the occasion– If the book is given for a special occasion, mark that in the book. Perhaps the occasion is a birthday or simply a book you thought they would enjoy it, document it.
“4/96. To Liz, Hope this will help explain to an American about one Europeans obsession that is football/soccer. Nick Hornby is not a Liverpool fan but this book still ripples the back of the neck[t]. Fond thoughts always, Tim .”
-Provide Some Life Advice- This is one of my favorite ones to do as a mom, gotta sneak it in anyway we can!
-Echo an idea in the book, often through a quote. I really like this one. If I can’t remember one-off the top of my head, I will go a quick google search. I pick a quote that I like and expand on it.
-Say what the giver thought was special about it. I try to personalize this to the children. I bought them a new Kate Dicamillo book and wrote inside that I bought it because I remember Izzy saying that she was one of her new favorite authors after reading a couple other of her books.
Here is a fun website where people have sent in inscriptions they have found.
Let me know in the comments below. Do you inscribe your books?