Dedications: “Keep Smilin'”

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To Kat
Love Mom xoxoxo

“Keep Smilin'”

This seems like a fairly run-of-the-mill dedication, but I found it in an instructional and motivational book with a title something like Smiling Through Cancer, which brings an unsettling undertone to an otherwise lovely mom-daughter message. There’s also something ominous about those misused quotation marks, as though keep smilin’! is actually sarcastic. All in all, there’s something a little creepy here.

I collected dozens of these types of inscriptions when I worked at a used bookstore, and I still keep an eye out for them when I’m browsing second-hand books. I endeavour to post a new one every Friday. See the complete list here!

Have any of your previously loved books come with notes from past owners? Send them my way!

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