have a good time

I finished reading this book a few days ago. It took me a while, because reading Alice Munro both uplifts me and makes me feel like writing is futile. To distract myself from the latter feeling, I often flipped to the inscription on the front.

Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line . . .
I should go to bed, but a voice in my head says ‘oh what the hell’ but I’m havin’ a good time.
Have a good time.

P. Simon

Happy birthday
RE
Oct ’79

(I only used the parts of the verses that seemed to apply – that’s why it doesn’t make much sense. ‘Oh, what the hell.’)

I love to think about it. Who is RE – the giver or the receiver? Did the person receiving this like Alice Munro? Did he or she like Paul Simon? Why was this book given away, and when? Was it read often? How many people read it between the birthday person and me?

I would probably never do it to a book of my own, but I love finding old books that people have scribbled in. I wrote about another one before, here.

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Wow, a Paul Simon lyric in an Alice Munro book is perfect. And that handwriting!

    This is an example of why real, paper books will never die.

  2. Love this, and your link. I want to believe Teri. I don’t even like that we call them paper books now. I liked it when a book was a book and a book was made from pages of paper. But…the world moves on.

  3. That is cool! I need to start shopping in used book stores again. There wasn’t one in Fort McMurray (and I had a discount card for the Coles I worked at). I got a free book when someone down the block from where I lived in Victoria was emptying out a house and it has a sketch in it! …that could make an interest little blog post… thank you for the inspiration :) I myself can’t write in a book, or break the spines or bend the pages.

  4. Teri: I know, I know! It’s all so great.
    Denise: Maybe I’m stubborn and old-fashioned and romantic, but I believe there will always be people like you and I who love “paper books” and will not let them die. I’m perfectly willing to become a collector of that ancient technology in my old age if it comes to that! :)
    Carla: Yes, do make a blog post about that sketch! I’d love to see it.

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