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Posts Tagged ‘used books

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes”*…


From the proprietors of a second-hand bookshop in Brisbane, Australia, a collection of things they’ve found in the books they’ve bought…

More at Stuff in Old Books.

* Desiderius Erasmus


As we riffle through the pages, we might recall that it was on this date in 1933, that Federal Judge John M. Woolsey, ruling on an action precipitated by Random House publisher Bennett Cerf as a test case, that the James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is not obscene.  Woolsey reserved judgement on the objects found interleaved therein.

1922 first edition cover



Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 6, 2014 at 1:01 am

From me, to you…


To my darling Husband –
We have now been married for 6 very special months. Enjoy memories of our wonderful Honeymoon as you read this
Anita XXX

As he explains in The Guardian, Wayne Gooderham was inspired by a passage in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca

I picked up the book again, and this time it opened at the title-page, and I read the dedication. ‘Max – from Rebecca. 17 May,’ written in a curious slanting hand. A little blob of ink marred the white page opposite, as though the writer, in impatience, had shaken her pen to make the ink flow freely. And then as it bubbled through the nib, it came a little thick, so that the name Rebecca stood out black and strong, the tall and sloping R dwarfing the other letters… I could see her turning to that first white page, smiling as she wrote, and shaking the bent nib. Max from Rebecca. It must have been his birthday, and she had put it amongst her other presents on the breakfast table. And they had laughed together as he tore off the paper and string. She leant, perhaps, over his shoulder, while he read. Max. She called him Max. It was familiar, gay, and easy on the tongue. The family could call him Maxim if they liked. Grandmothers and aunts. And people like myself, quiet and dull and youthful, who did not matter. Max was her choice, the word was her possession; she had written it with so great a confidence on the fly-leaf of that book. That bold slanting hand, stabbing the white paper, the symbol of herself, so certain, so assured.

…to begin collecting the inscriptions he found in used books– “the secret history of second-hand books.”  From the warm-and-heartfelt to the ironic (intentional and otherwise), it’s all at Book Dedications.

Sept. ’73
For mummy –
may you read it all – clearly and without prejudice – right to the end!
 Lots of love
 Hetty xxx


As we recap our pens, we might send sturdily-bound birthday greetings to publishing pioneer Frank Nelson Doubleday; he was born on this date in 1862.  Doubleday began his career at Charles Scribner’s Sons, rising to become publisher of their magazine.  But after falling out with Blair Scribner, Doubleday  recruited Samuel S. McClure, publisher of McClure’s Magazine, to form Doubleday & McClure Co.– soon known simply as Doubleday, the company grew organically and through acquisition until 1986, when it was acquired by Bertlesmann.

Frank was a hands-on owner:  he had close working friendships with the likes of James Barrie, Andrew Carnegie, Alfred Harcourt, Edward Mandell House, Rudyard Kipling, T. E. Lawrence, Christopher Morley, Mark Twain and John D. Rockefeller (whose autobiography Doubleday edited– and may have ghost-written).  His nickname, “Effendi,” was bestowed on him by Kipling (who derived it from his initials, F.N.D.).



Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 8, 2012 at 1:01 am

À la recherche du temps perdu…

From the proprietor of Forgotten Bookmarks— and of a rare and used book store for which he purchases many second-hand books:

These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things I find in those books.

Share his discoveries here.

As we slip between the sheets, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that Congress authorized “In God We Trust” as the U.S. national motto.

The phrase had appeared occasionally (as had variations on the theme) on coinage since Civil War times; regularly– despite Theodore Roosevelt’s conviction that it was sacrilegious– from 1908.   But it didn’t appear on bills until 1957…

source: Louisville Courier-Journal

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 30, 2009 at 12:01 am

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