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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This one goes out to the one I love...

A few years back I took a workshop on teaching reading to early and emergent readers. For those children at the beginning stages, it was suggested to quickly review some of the basic book concepts each time before reading aloud: point out the cover, where the author's name is found, the illustrator, and read the dedication. I usually do the first three but pretty much always skip the dedication. I don't know who Wanda is, so why should I care? What about you? Do you read the dedications? Do you think it's important? What is the dedication in the book you're currently reading? Mine, Stuart Christie's Granny Made Me An Anarchist, says "To 'B' the next link in the chain." Who is B? Is there a Shakespeare reference in there? Is this a private joke? This illustrates precisely why I don't care (though I'm sure B is quite flattered). If you were to write a book, for whom would you dedicate it and why?

8 comments:

claire said...

The book I'm reading right now says, To J.R.M., which is kind of nice because all those letters are contained in my husband's name. But yes, I love reading dedications. I don't know what it is but I always, and I mean always, read them. I especially like the ones that say a bit more than the name. You know, you make me want to dig out all my books and read the dedications.. and if I find some good ones might just dedicate a post to them. :D

Lynda said...

I don't read dedications - although if I ever did write a book I'd dedicate it to my mum and grandmother.
Maybe I'll start reading them now!

Kiggavik said...

I usually read the dedications, for no other reason but to see if there is a dedication. I think that it is nice to know that there is someone who the author cares about, enough to let them know about via a book.

I think if I ever do write that book the dedication would depend on the book. I edited a short memoir of my Grandfather's a few years back - for family. Doing it was a homage to him, and in some ways it would seem redundant to dedicate it to him. But I did dedicate it to someone (which may be presumptuous as it was really Grandpa's book). The dedication read...

To my Dad, the greatest influence on my life, and the man I most wish I was.

raidergirl3 said...

Of course I do. I read everything in a book - the dedication, the opening quote, if there is one, the publication date.
If there are words, I'll read them.

in Anne of Avonlea, which happened to be nearby:
to my former teacher Hattie Gordon Smith in grateful remembrance of her sympathy and encouragement

Book Psmith said...

I do read dedications. They only take a second to read and sometimes there are some real gems: a really great quote or a touching expression of love or a show of gratitude. Surprisingly there is no dedication in the book I am currently reading. They seem so commonplace now but I wonder if there was a time when dedications were the exception instead of the rule. If I wrote a book, I would probably dedicate it to myself since I did all the work. Just kidding:) Depends on the type of book...if it was a children's, definitely my daughters because it is the crazy stuff they do that makes me say 'that would make a great kid's book'...a more grown-up book would be anyone instrumental in encouraging my love for the written word like my sister, mom, dad or grandparents.

raych said...

The dedications in the Lemony Snickett Unfortunate Events series SLAY me. I recommend them.

Wanda said...

"...a simple prop to occupy my time..."

Yes, I read them and so does my 8-y.o. when she finds them in her chapter books. Dedication page for 'Coventry' simply states: For My Parents. One of the most touching ones that I've come across is from 'I Promise I'll Find You', dedicated in part to "all of the missing children in the world."

Oh btw, I'm Wanda, and of course you should care! :P

Ali said...

I always read the dedications. I love that little moment that I get to spend with the author before beginning their book.