Although mostly it is the content of books that I value and that interests me, my work in the field of rare books has also given me an interest in books as objects. I have become aware of the aesthetic appeal of the binding of a book and the value that this can add to the object. Another element in the concept of book as object is its provenance or ownership.
Whilst I have a number of second hand books, many inscribed with the names of the previous owners, the provenance of my books is not an especially interesting facet of my book collection. I have inherited a few of the books which my mother had as a child (it seems to be children's books that are most often passed on between generations); my father has hung onto his as he still likes to reread his Jennings books.
However, this summer I was given a wonderful heirloom by my godmother - a bible which has been passed down the female line of her family. As she has not had any children, she decided to pass it on to me.
As you can see, it has been inscribed by those giving the book, and now includes an dedication to myself.
I think this is a wonderful thing to own, and it took me to a whole new level of receiving books as gifts.
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