Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Salon: Random Thoughts

I think I finally may be shaking this nasty cold that has made me miserable for the past two weeks. It has been making the rounds at my office, and so I can't blame Mouse's daycare this time. Being sick made hosting a birthday party and entertaining a houseful of out of town guests last weekend a bit of a challenge, but Mouse had a great first birthday, and I think everyone else had a good time too.

Mouse received quite a few books for her birthday, including three cloth books my mother sewed together for her. I am sure those cloth books will be a real treasure to her someday. One thing I noticed about many of the books she received was the lack of inscriptions written inside the front cover by the giver. A few of my own childhood books which I recently unpacked have my name, the date given and the person who gave me the book written inside. It's sure taken me down memory lane! It made me wonder why no one bothers anymore, especially when giving a child a book she's too young to enjoy on her own just yet. I don't mean board books or just any book for that matter--but favorites of the giver that he or she want to share with the special child in his or her life. I know not everyone likes having their books inscribed. Maybe I'm being overly sentimental since this was her first birthday. My mom suggested I write the date received in each book along with the gift giver--and that's exactly what I did. She won't likely remember her first birthday, but at least she can look back on some of the books she received and know how long they've been with her and who thought to give them to her.

When giving a book to a child, have you ever written a brief note inside the cover to commemorate the occasion?

My book group is reading Catherine the Great: A Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie this month. I didn't know much about Catherine before beginning the book, and I have to say I am fascinated by her and her life. I would love to have known her back then. I confess I'm finding the second half of the book more slow going than the first. I imagine it has a lot to do with the politics and maneuvering being done now that Catherine is Empress of Russia.

Massie's book seems to have become my office reading material while at home, before falling asleep, I have been mixing it up with urban fantasy. I recently read The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton and Dark Time by Dakota Banks (review to come), both authors I discovered via Twitter. I am now reading Shapeshifter: The Demo Tapes - Year 1 by Susan Helene Gottfried, a book I first heard about through Florinda. It makes for good bed-time reading, being made up of short vignettes. I hope to give Gottfried's Trevor's Song a try next.

What are you reading these days? Have you read anything in particular you think I should read?

In other not so good (for you) news, I will no longer be posting photos of Mouse here at Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Yesterday's Saturday Snapshot photos will be the last. I may still post the occasional side or back of the head shot--just not those easy-to-identify pictures of her. When I first became pregnant, I swore I would not post pictures of my baby on my blog for professional and personal reasons. I couldn't resist though--your enthusiasm to share her life was contagious. I came to the decision then that I would only post photos from the first year of her life on my blog. That time has come. I will continue to post photos of Mouse on my Facebook page (you are welcome to join me there--just keep in mind it's not connected to my blog and has little to do with books). And for those who keep in touch via e-mail (or want to--my e-mail is literaryfelineATgmailDOTcom), I will be happy to send along a picture now and then as well. Just let me know. I have enjoyed sharing this first year of her life with you, and I will continue to share my experiences of motherhood and update you as to what she's up to. So, all is not lost!

Have a great week and happy reading!


© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like you have been fitting in some quality reading. I'm sad that we won't see any more pictures of her but I definitely understand your decision. Hope you have a great Sunday!

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    1. Samantha - I am sure trying! Some nights I'm sacrificing sleep for it. LOL

      I hope you have a great week!

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  2. I don't generally inscribe books but reading your post makes me think it's a good idea. I don't have any books from my childhood, I'm sad to say.

    I don't blame you for not sharing photos of Mouse - the internet can be a scary place.

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    1. Kathy - I don't inscribe every book I give. Just ones I think of as extra special. I love finding old books with inscriptions in them. :-)

      I even hesitate posting photos of her on Facebook, to be honest. Especially the way they change their privacy settings without proper notification. :-S

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  3. I used to write inside books when I was giving them as gifts. I think this practise has died out, mostly because so few people keep their books that are young. That said, two of my treasured possessions are books that my parents wrote in when I was very young, gifts for Christmas one year. They are extra special because they wrote in them for me.

    I know your concerns about posting pictures of Mouse on here, I sometimes feel a little nervous about posting ones of my children too.

    I am curious about the Massie book about Catherine.

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    1. Susan - I have my mom to thank for keeping around many of my older books, I'm sure. Of course, my own love for reading put a value on them even then--something I inherited from both my parents.

      So far, I can recommend the Massie book about Catherine. I have about two hundred pages left to go, but but I don't foresee it going downhill.

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  4. I used to inscribe what I thought were meaningful and heartfelt messages into books. Then, when cleaning out my grandmother's house, I found a book I'd given a relative not my grandmother abandoned in the bottom drawer of an old dresser. It was a humbling experience.

    I do think people may come to value books we give them. While cleaning out that same grandmother's house I found my old copy of what was once a favorite childhood book that my mother read to me over and over again. The fact that there is no inscription in it, doesn't make it any less important a find to me.

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    1. C.B. - I can see how that could be disheartening. You take the time to write something thoughtful in a book you are giving to someone and he or she discards it without a second thought. When I think back, I remember my mom once telling me my dad wished I had written in the books I gave him throughout the years. I rarely did because I thought inscriptions should be saved for special books. Not that I didn't think the gifts I gave my dad weren't special in their own right--just that I knew he loved to read and so I gave him books I thought he'd like. Whether he kept them or not, it didn't matter to me.

      I don't expect every book I am given to be inscribed by the giver. It just seems to me that it's nice to have it done in some. Maybe because my family has always been keepers of books, it means more than to those who aren't quite so attached to them.

      And, of course, finding one inscribed book among many that are not is perhaps more meaningful than having a houseful of inscribed books.

      But you are right. Just because a book doesn't have an inscription in it, doesn't mean it isn't less important if the memories are there.

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  5. I don't write in my books that I gift to people, but my husband's cousin always does when he gives books to the kids. I find it precious.

    I'm glad I can still see pictures of the Mouse. I would miss seeing her...she has to be the most adorable child ever.

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    1. Sandy - I think it's precious too. In Mouse's case, I think it's nice to have such a big milestone for her commemorated. She won't remember it, of course, but she'll have her books--if she chooses to keep them.

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  6. I always mean to write in books that I give as gifts but I always forget when the time comes. Sometimes the parent will hand me the book and say 'You should write something...' I have old books with inscriptions, too. :)

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    1. Kelly - I confess I forget sometimes too. At least with my daughter I can go back and write in them and she'll never know the difference. At least not yet. :-)

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  7. I have definitely inscribed many books when I've given them as gifts. It is a wonderful memory for the recipient of the gift.

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    1. Kathleen - I agree! I love reading inscriptions--even ones left in books that used to belong to other family members.

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  8. I tend to write in books as a gifts to others. I think it'd serve as a good remembrance as the years go by. :)

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    1. Melody - Me too! It's a good way to mark those moments.

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  9. I don't think I could bring myself to write in a book. Plus, I always see inscribed books at library sales and I always feel sorry that they were handed off and not kept. Personally, I include a note on paper or on a bookmark placed inside of the book.

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  10. Ti - Including a note is a good idea. I'd probably lose it though. LOL

    I've given away the occasional book that have been personally autographed to me by an author. I'd be at the bookstore where there'd be an author signing, and I'd feel bad if no one was talking to the author so, whether I had an interest in the book or not, I'd get it autographed. I didn't realize then that I could just have them sign their name instead of adding my name. I'm much more selective now who I ask for autographs--and what books I buy. My dad was appalled the first time I gave him a book to read and told him I didn't want it back despite it being signed.

    Of course, it could be through death that an inscribed book passes to a library sale.

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  11. What a busy week you had and I hope that you're recovering not only from the cold but from the whirlwind of that first birthday! I absolutely respect your choice not to publicly post pictures of Mouse.

    Take care!

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    1. Staci - The end is in sight with this cold, I think. Hopefully. :-) Thanks!

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