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To Margret, with best wishes, Sgt. Ham

In Books, Words on April 29, 2012 by Miche

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First, read this, by @BellJarred. It struck a spark with me. There’s a lot about ebooks that I love: I carry Chambers Dictionary and all of Shakespeare in my pocket every day, plus a hundred-odd texts I’ve bought from Amazon or Apple, but I retain a fondness for those physical objects called books.

BellJarred writes: “Some of my books are coffee stained and haggard because they have been on a rough journey across the world. They hold wrappers of foreign sweets, postcards, leaves, train tickets and hastily written notes in the margins.”

I have bought books, from second-hand shops, that had German train tickets and Johannesburg boarding cards tucked into them. There was one that, halfway through, had a card sayng “I have lit a candle for you at Lourdes.”

The Luck of the Bodkins, by  P. G. Wodehouse, is an enjoyable and funny book. It has a great opening sentence: “Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French.”

But what I really love about my copy of this book is the dedication from Sgt. Ham to Margret.

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