Hoping this helps in the drive towards Consilience.
Oct 21 ’99.

When I finally got around to posting this one, I realised I’ve always read this inscription as “drive towards confidence” instead of “drive towards consilience.” This is probably because I’ve never run across the word consilience before. A handy definition for anyone else unfamiliar: “consilience: agreement between the approaches to a topic of different academic subjects, especially science and the humanities.”

With this definition in mind, then, I like to imagine a father and daughter constantly arguing about whether science or art is the more useful practice. Maybe dad’s a painter, and daughter’s a microbiologist. Adorable. I’m sure someone’s written a novel about a similar premise.

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 here 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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