Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Touching Inscription

This post is from November 13, 2010 and was never published.

Sometimes I read an inscription inside an old book, and I stop to reflect about the original owner and her life. The book is a circa 1942 copy of the Nancy Drew book, The Mystery at Lilac Inn. It has a glossy frontispiece illustration and poor quality paper that has deeply yellowed. The dust jacket is missing.

The inscription reads, "To Dolores (7) Carolyn Keene mystery's given to her on 12th Birthday by Mother." Dolores would have been born in around 1930, so she would now be around 80 years old, if she is still alive.

On that 12th birthday, Dolores received seven Nancy Drew books with dust jackets. The books would have been nice and new with white paper and shiny clean brand-new dust jackets. What a splendid birthday present!

The books cost $0.50 at that time, so Dolores' present cost her mother $3.50. I used an online inflation calculator to compute that $3.50 in 1942 would be close to $50.00 today.

I'm sure Dolores had lots of fun reading those books.


Jenn said...

I loved this--how fun and neat to see how much that $3.50 was back then--especially during the depressed times.


sequesterednooks said...

I love reading inscriptions, and getting a glimpse at former owners. This one from the mother is really sweet!

I have several Grosset and Dunlap Anne of Green Gables books from the 1950s, and the little girl who owned them wrote her name, the date (spanning two years), and the occasion for which she received them. Two or three were prizes she won at school. It makes me wonder what happened to her and how the books ended up in a library book sale.