Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who is Martin Reynolds?

I am currently reading e.e cumming's The Enormous Room. I picked up this foxed and dog eared Penguin classic up from a Lifeline Bookfest in Toowoomba (100km SW of Brisbane) last year. Curiously there is an inscription inside the cover under the name Martin Reynolds. He wrote:

Aug 1971.
I think I shall have to read more of ee cummings, having enjoyed this book more than somewhat. Partly, because first books always have a certain raw charm.

The inscription is a little mystery and a reminder of this books past life. Who was Martin Reynolds and who gave his book to a charity? I googled Martin Reynolds and found that it is a more popular name than I could have imagined; turns out Martin Reynolds was a British athlete, a banker, a designer, senior executive etc. etc. I wonder who my Martin Reynolds was? Who wrote this sweet reflection and revealed unintentionally their thirty-nine year old insight?

It reminds me of an article I posted the other day about lost libraries and the way writers libraries are divided up and sold after their deaths. Maybe in that light, this little scribble is a bitter sweet find, or just raw charm? Maybe I should leave little notes for future readers of my books? I love it when you buy a secondhand book and find an old bookmark or train ticket in it!

Have you ever found anything interesting in a second hand book?


  1. oh I love that too! I once bought a copy of Byron's poetry with an inscription that read "Dear Evelyn," scratched out, underneath it, "No, that's too formal. I love you". Perfect. I still have that book.

  2. I like your new photo.It is much more interesting than the other one.


  3. What a wonderful treasure! I love finding stuff in books, inscriptions, bookmarks, tickets of various sorts. I have an old Every Man's Library edition of The Enormous Room but haven't read it yet.


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