The Book Inscriptions Project

Sometimes while you flip through the pages of a book (irrespective of whether the book belongs to you or you found it in a used bookstore), you discover a personal message scribbled in its pages, notes and words scribbled in the margins. The “Book Inscriptions Project” is a project that archives such messages.

We collect personal messages written in ink (or pen or marker or crayon or grape jelly) inside books. Pictures count. So do poems. So do notes on paper found in a book. The more heartfelt the better. Send a copy of the cover and the inscription and any details about how, when and where you found it.

But how did this project start? Shaun (the person who started the project) once opened a book and read a message inscribed in the book and….

For whatever reason, I happened to open the book and saw the message from Mark to Joey. Something about that note, handwritten by an unknown to an unknown of whose whereabouts, gender and relationship I was unaware, struck me as both tragic and powerful. Since then I’ve been searching for more inscriptions and, after poring through thousands of books at garage sales, librariesand book sales, I now have a large and ever-growing collection. These inscriptions—not to be confused with author dedications or autographs—are personal messages written in ink (or lead or marker) and were given as gifts from one person to another. Some of them are so private that it seems almost impossible that they ended up in a library or a garage sale. Did the owner die, or forget that his copy of After the Fall contained a private note from his parents?

As we see a slow shift towards e-books, I wonder if we will lose small yet significant bits of our personal histories that these messages help create. What do you think?

Note: Please click on the images to read the messages.

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DISCLAIMER :Everything here is the personal opinions of the authors and is not read or approved by pratham books before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here