We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sepia Saturday #210 What's Inside a Book?

Here's our theme for this week's Sepia Saturday - photographs that you find in old books.

I've checked my entire library and didn't find one photo in any of my books. But while looking I found some other interesting things.

Like the lovely inscriptions that people write in gift books. Dan and Sherry gave Kathy this book but they had no idea when her birthday was.

Translation:  Dear Kathy,
The fresh hell is that we thought it was your birthday. It's obvious that you have fewer than most people. Hope you enjoy reading about Dorothy. Happy Birthday, whenever it is - Dan & Sherry Eaton.

I really like Elmer's message. It's short, to the point and relates to the book.

From a friend who hopes your odyssey will be as exciting as the original. Elmer

This book seems to be a gift from a teacher to a student.

 Presented to Lola Phipps for highest merit in spelling and _____ matters (?).

Can you make this one out? I'm having problems. 

The next three books are all related to film in some way. What Makes Sammy Run was all about the film industry (in case you've never read it). (Sorry about the fuzzy copy).

Dear Hazel
I meant you to have something to read on your way back but you fooled me. This won't make your hours any happier but it will make you squirm a little - love and kisses. How are you liking it by now?

And this one has a curious label stuck in it. Do you think they were trying to sell this book to some producer? I don't remember ever seeing a film about Louisa May Alcott -  I guess it didn't interest anyone - not enough sex and violence.

Maybe Miss Alcott didn't make it on the silver screen, but Smoky sure did!

I love this inscription. After I read this book, I was dying to go to London and visit Marks and Co. I never made it, but Floyd and Maytsie (?) actually visited the shop and found a copy of this book in the basement. Amazing. Margaret must have been thrilled.

I think this is my favorite inscription. I have no idea what it means, must be some kind of an in-joke.

Flip through the pages on Sepia Saturday to find other hidden treasures.


  1. What a wonderful take on the prompt picture. Now I'll have to go through our entire library looking for inscriptions! People don't do that so much anymore. They might write "to" & "from" & perhaps the date or occasion, but not much beyond that which is too bad because as you have shown, writing that little extra bit more can tickle the imagination.

  2. Nice post.

    My best guess on the word in the inscription is 'va-luating.' The hyphen is in the wrong place, and today we'd probably say 'evaluating,' but it's in the dictionary without the 'e.'

  3. For spelling and "repeating mottoes?" Repeating something...this would be a great Sepia theme...

  4. The teacher sure wouldn't get a prize for handwriting. It seems like the teacher should have learned to write in a more readable manner.

  5. What a great take on this week's challenge!!

  6. I flipped through your books and it was very interesting to read what you found.This encourages me to flip through pages of my books, perhaps I get some surprises too. Well done Nancy Javier.

  7. I agree - a fascinating interpretation of this week's theme, and how wonderful to have so many examples of inscriptions. in books. I have only a prayer book given to my father on his confirmation and one to my great uncle George who was killed in the First World War - both mean a lot to me.

  8. I've looked in nearly 300 books and there are names, but only one with an inscription - for a Christmas gift in 1947 to my wife.

  9. I wonder if the Jonathan Swift reference had something to do with "A Modest Proposal" rather than "Gulliver's Travels."

    Here's my one funny: a couple years ago my sister wanted Paula Deen's book about Southern Style for Christmas. I found one advertised on Amazon as "autographed," so how cool would that be? I ordered it. It turns out it was a USED book INSCRIBED not merely autographed "To Rachel, Paula Deen." My sister's name is Mary. Oh well, Rachel's loss.

    1. That's pretty cool. I wonder if the Rachel could have been Rachel Ray! And why was Rachel selling the book on Ebay. Could it have been she didn't want to be tainted by the scandal.
      Did Mary like the book even tho it didn't have her name?

  10. Wow, what a fine collection! This sure is fun seeing all the various keepsakes that folks stuff away!

  11. What a fascinating collection of inscriptions. I agree with Deb that the word appears to be "re-peating ..."

  12. I enjoyed reading these; it’s a bit like postcard-reading and makes us curious to know more. Like Bob, I can only think of one book with an inscription, from my Dad to Mum on her her 21st birthday.

  13. Great Blog as is your usual. Makes me want to flip through all my books Beth C

  14. I'm so glad you posted this, I stumbled across it while doing some family history research - Maytsie Bauer nee Crowfoot (who wrote the inscription about 84 Charing Cross Road) is a distant branch on my Crowfoot family tree. Definitely a little out of the ordinary as records go but I'm delighted to have found it!! :)

  15. That's so amazing that you found my blog and actually found your relative's inscription in the book.
    I wish I knew where I got the book. I buy most of my books from the Fallbrook, Ca. library book store
    and that's probably where this one came from.
    Where do you live - or your relatives? Anyone in Calif?

  16. Maytsie did live in California, she married in San Francisco, no idea about the Margaret to whom the book was given though, there aren't any in the family that I've found, so perhaps a friend? I'm back in England myself, she would have been my 3rd cousin 3 times removed (told you it was a distant branch!) connected through her father who was born in Norfolk - same town as my grandmother actually. :)