January 10, 2015 in 

When the previous owner of a book writes a message, note, or signature on it, that is called an inscription by the previous owner. Typically found on the front flyleaf or endpaper, inscriptions can be positive or negative and reflect the thoughts and feelings of the last owner towards the book. An inscription can add value to a book depending on the previous owner – famous or notable. However, derogatory or vulgar inscriptions may be seen as unfavorable. Collectors and booksellers consider inscriptions by earlier owners among various factors when determining a book’s value.

Why do people write inscriptions in books and discuss their significance? Inscriptions can range from simple names and dates to lengthy messages and can be found in new and used books. Individuals view them differently – some consider them personalized, while others view them as graffiti-like markings. Regardless of one’s opinion, inscriptions hold their place within the realm of books.

Inscription by the previous owner is essential for anyone involved in publishing, providing insights into the publishing process and its key players. This well-written book offers clear explanations, making it accessible for those seeking knowledge about this industry.

Inscriptions made by previous owners play significant roles in books and publishing with multiple purposes beyond personalizing copies. They aid in establishing provenance, which carries weight when authenticating works or assessing their worthiness financially. Additionally, they help contextualize a book’s history while enriching its overall appeal through aesthetic charm.

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About the author 

CJ McDaniel

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!

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