There are perks of being a cataloguer. Best of all is being able to see the new books and things as they are unpacked. It need not be said - and yet I shall write it anyway - that my wish list resulting from all this seeing of new books is several pages long, and on my work desk is a perilous stack of books I think of bringing home if only there, the shelf, two chairs, night table, and floor space I have given over to books I intend to read in the next few days weren't already filled to capacity.
One of my favourite things to do is read the author dedications. Some are sweet, some are clever, some are silly, and some obscure. Some are about libraries and librarians - always a winner. All of them are fodder for imaginative suppositions of who the dedicatee may be, and I always wonder if the author told the recipient of the honour thus bestowed upon them, or if they merely hoped that special person would one day come across it and recognize the message was meant for them.
I don't write all of them down, of course, but what follows is a brief assortment of some I have collected in my notebook over the past few months:
~For Tess. Mi vuoi sposare? (A most original and perfect proposal!)
~Thanks, Mom and Dad, for raising a reader.
~This book is dedicated to all librarians everywhere - for they are the true keepers of the secret flame and not to be trifled with.
~For Mum. Thank you for everything, especially the library books.
~For every girl who wants to write her own story.
~Dedicated to the Mount Vernon City library, where I first found the ladder.
~For Catharine, first and favourite raisin girl.
~For my husband, kidlet, and family. (This is seemingly ordinary and unremarkable until I tell you it was the dedication of a book of dom/sub erotica)
~Dad, I wrote a book.
~For Paula Pea.
~This book is for Olive who gave me a new life.
~Quite simply this book is for my readers.
~For Nap, with gratitude for a life of love + laughter.
~To Sadie, beloved niece since 22:22, 02/02/02 - Sadie Sue, this one's for you. (Very sweet until you realize the book is a story about a teen murder victim)
~If you, dear reader, have not this very day observed at least three instances of the magical, the mysterious, or the miraculous, do set this book down right away. Find a story more to your disposition. Perhaps something about chalk.
Writing a book requires a great deal of work and imagination. Could you go one step more and come up with a really good dedication?