Saturday, June 19th, 2010
To rip or not to rip
Last year I wrote a diatribe about my distaste for handwritten inscriptions inside books, and was roundly castigated by just about everyone.
An unusual circumstance presented itself today. A nearly new children’s book I bought at a yard sale contains the following inscription in a child’s handwriting:
Jane Doe! have a nice day!
I’ve changed the girl’s name for this discussion. The writer was presumably a friend, probably a classmate, who wrote a surprise message in the book.
The issue troubling me is that the girl, this 9-year-old girl, died two years ago in a well-known hit-and-run incident in our community. Two scumbags were racing on a highway and one of their vehicles hit a SUV, killing the girl — a twin no less.
My wife worked with the girl’s mother for three years in college, so she had a bit of a reaction when she discovered the handwritten note.
The question I’m pondering is whether to keep the inscription, or to rip the page out (which is easily doable because it’s an otherwise blank page). I have no doubt that this book will go on to have other future owners.
I could make arguments either way, so I’m curious what you think.