Sunday, June 10, 2012

nice one, Mr. Vonnegut

It caught my eye while I was reading in bed the other night, a little scrawl on the back of the book.  Directly under the photo of the author, it seemed deliberately placed.

I forgot about it for a few days, but then it caught my eye again this morning.  As I inspected it under better light than my bedside lamp, I could see that it was clearly a signature.  I could make out a K and a couple of ts and what looked like an asterisk. Could it really be Kurt Vonnegut's signature?

A quick trip to the internet seemed to confirm that it indeed was.  The scuff-marked paperback that I had picked up for $2.00 at the CBC Calgary Reads book sale was sporting a Kurt Vonnegut signature.

Are you sure that's not just part of the book cover? The Spousal Unit was skeptical as I proudly pointed out the similarities between the signature on my book and the samples posted online.  And of course, a side trip to Amazon did indeed show the back cover of Timequake as sporting that very same signature.

It was still pretty thrilling though, and I like to think that Kurt Vonnegut had exactly this sort of scenario in mind when he made his signature part of the book jacket. Kilgore Trout would certainly approve.

I had already decided, while I was still considering the possibility that there was an original Kurt Vonnegut autograph on the back of my secondhand paperback, that I would never sell this book.  I'm not sure what he would have thought of that.

What's the most curious thing you have ever found in a book?

10 comments:

Allison said...

That's amazing!! Wow. I would never sell that book either.

I used to put Canadian Tire money in books as place markers, and give them away, but never found anything of note in one.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I once found a photo of people I knew in a book I purchased from at an antique store.

Karen said...

I often find suspicious stains in books from the library. My strategy has been to ignore then and turn the page as quickly as possible...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love the idea of putting Canadian Tire money in books, Al! Far more inventive than the grocery lists I generally find in my books.

That is utterly amazing, Dr M! I wonder what the statistical odds of something like that happening are?

I'm pretty sure I am familiar with those stains, Karen. I always tell myself they're just chocolate.

bloody awful poetry said...

I was getting SO EXCITED for you there. A genuine Vonnegut scrawl on your paperback? Oh man.

I once found a peacock feather in a hardcover Oscar Wilde collection. Totally random, but seemed strangely apt.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You know that Oscar himself had to have placed that peacock feather in the book, BAP. What other explanation could there be?

John Mutford said...

I love finding photos in books-- I've never found people that I know, on them though.

I think I found a subpoena in one once, but for the life of me, I can't recall any details-- so it couldn't have amounted to anything too exciting.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'll bet the former owner is still trying to find that subpoena, John. Probably languishing in a jail as we speak.

Moxie said...

Earlier this year I checked out a collection of Arthur Miller short stories from the library and found a folded piece of wax paper with a dried wildflower inside. It was a lovely thing to find in a book. Though a $20 bill would have been quite lovely, too.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a delightful surprise that would have been, Moxie. Ditto for a twenty.

I once left money in a book to say thank you to someone whom I knew wouldn't take it otherwise. Looking back, I realize this was likely not the smartest move.