I held my breath a little and opened them one by one, hoping to discover a handwritten inscription inside each cover. No such luck. Every single one was blank inside. And I felt completely crushed.
My dad gifted Will with several books about The Civil War (one of his great passions) and I would so love for Will to know why my dad chose those books for him. Sure, I can explain it to my son (and I plan to go back and write in each book) but it would have meant so much more for Will it it were written in my dad's hand--from my dad's heart.
I regret not asking him on the spot to jot a note and the date inside the cover every time a book was unwrapped! Because life is so short and you never know what tomorrow may hold.
Inscribing books makes them even more special! I'm so thankful that my mom did this for me growing up. Here are a few pics I took of some books that I treasure.
The Pooh Party Book and I love it's yellowed and worn pages.
My long-time friend, Susan, gave me this book for my 9th birthday. I'm 100% sure that if she hadn't inscribed this book I would never have remembered that. This book was one of my childhood favorites. It contains three of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classics: A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Secret Garden and I bet I've read each of those stories more than a dozen times!
The inscription below is from Dr. Seuss: My Book About Me which I've blogged about here. (This book makes a great birthday gift for young children!
We moved to Colorado in the middle of the school year and Will's first-grade class gave him a copy of Max Lucado's You Are Special as a going away gift. I absolutely LOVE that every child signed this for him. It makes me smile (and sometimes cry) when I pull this book out to read from time to time. What a treasure!!!
Sometimes, there is a block like this on a book that makes it easy to inscribe it. I bought this book, The Pumpkin Patch Parable, while on a trip to Colorado Springs. I think I want to go back and write that I bought this for the kids at the Glen Eyrie bookstore! By the way, The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs is an awesome book for this time of year.
Did anyone else have this book of nursery rhymes? Looks like I got it when I was one year old. Amazing to think that book is almost as old as I am!
Consider this your Public Service Announcement. WRITE IN YOUR BOOKS! If you give a book as a gift, simply write who it's to, who it's from, the date and maybe the occasion. If it's special to you, write a little note about why and include that as well. If you receive a book that is special but is blank inside, then write your own note inside. I promise you will never regret it!
My neighbor's mother-in-law takes this idea a step further. Not only does she inscribe books she gives as gifts but sometimes she'll adhere a photo to the inside cover that reminds her of the recipient. For example, if she gives a princess book to her grand-daughter, she might include a note AND a picture of her granddaughter in some fancy, Cinderella dress-up attire. It's just another way to make the gift even more special. Imagine what that little "princess" will be reminded of when she opens that book twenty years from now!
So...go ahead. Grab your favorite pen and write in a book TODAY!