I LOVE books. I love used books. I love cookbooks. Most of all – – I love used cookbooks!!! Replete with notes, dog-eared pages, and occasional food stains, they are oftentimes like topographical maps of another’s tastes and history.
Imagine getting this little gem
for this price!
This creates what should be an illegal amount of joy – – owning a treasure of this magnitude for a mere pittance.
But neither the price nor the content were what put me over the top. It was the inscription within. I adore inscribing books. I only gift books that are sacred to me. To share a book with another is actually quite vulnerable. You are giving the recipient a glimpse into the far reaches of your soul when you dare to share a book with them. The ensuing inscription I place within said books are long thought out and deeply felt. I even inscribe books I buy for myself. I enjoy being able to look back and see what was happening in my world that prompted me to purchase a specific writing.
I am thrilled beyond compare when I purchase a used cookbook someone else has placed a dedication within. These inscriptions are like miniature love letters. I feel a bit like a voyeur when I happen across one. I find myself wondering about the recipient. I find myself contemplating he/she whom gifted and inscribed the tome. I even make up stories about them in my mind.
I found great comfort in visiting the graveyard of my mother’s cookbooks after her death. Invariably one of them would contain an inscription from me that would reduce me to tears. My mom and I loved to talk about cooking. We wrote one another letters about it. We sent each other recipes and articles about food on a regular basis. It was not unusual for us to gift one another something with a food theme. I took care of her when she was dying. I cooked constantly during her illness. If she craved something I immediately set out to cook it. As her body withered I sought to nourish her soul – – with cooking. Shortly before she died she told me I had become a better cook than she. I do not believe I have received a greater compliment before or since…………or a compliment that held more meaning for me.
Not only did the cookbook tombstones contain inscriptions from me………they also contained notes and commentary she had jotted down next to coveted recipes. The occasional food spill splashed across some pages……..material so sacred to me……. the product of my mother nourishing herself……….this woman I had loved more than life itself. This woman I had nourished up until her death.
Here is the inscription from the used cookbook I just purchased – – above.
Is Pop still alive? Is Matthew? Did Matthew frantically search for this book after Pop died? “Pop” is a term from a pretty specific time period. How old was Matthew when he gave Pop this book? Matthew has stellar penmanship. This also might serve to indicate an age range. What was Pop’s favorite recipe? And best of all, a son giving a father a cookbook!? How awesome is that? I have concocted story after story about the two in my mind.
A toast to you – – Matthew and Pop! I wax certain your story is a good one based upon the trail of evidence contained within these pages. Know that your book has journeyed to responsible home where it will be well taken care of, well fed, and well loved!