Does a personal message in a book increase the sentimental value and should we all be writing them?

Books are given as gifts all the time aren’t they? Sometimes a lot of thought has been put into it, sometimes it is following a request from the recipient, sometimes it is just an impulse buy. The list of reasons goes on and on. I’m sure we have all given and received books as gifts on multiple occasions, for many different reasons, and thought no more of it afterwards. I’m sure that there are many people who have received a book for their birthday and by the next birthday have forgotten who gave it to them or even forgotten that it was a gift in the first place. There are plenty of books on my bookshelf that I look at and wish I could remember how they got there. Did I purchase them? Were they gifted? Did I borrow them and forget to return them? Do they belong to my boyfriend and if so how did he end up with them? It’s okay that this is the case (I think), it’s impossible to keep track of everything isn’t it. It doesn’t mean that I’m any less grateful, it’s just life.

Anyway, with that being said, there are times when a book takes on a much bigger meaning, times where there is a sentimental attachment that ensures you never forget how you acquired the book and leaves you determined to keep it safe.

Do you have a book like that, or books like that?

I do. I have a few that are sentimental, but there is one in particular that really stands out and I wanted to share it with you today. This particular book was a gift, it was given to me by my maternal grandparents when I was very young and it was given for one simple reason…


What better reason is there for giving somebody a book? Such a simple reason but a perfect one all the same.

I was a reader then and I still am now.

Related post – Real books versus e-books

I was looking through this book recently when I was planning this post and I picked out some of my favourite stories from it which I will share with you now. They are…


I love the whole book though, when I flick through it I think of so many memories and that makes this book one of, if not the most valuable book on my bookshelf. Not valuable in monetary terms, but in sentimental value…definitely! You are probably wondering what the book is right? I wonder if you will be surprised, because it probably does not look at all special to you. I suppose this again is proof of how the sentimental value of a book can be so personal. Anyway, here it is…


Are you familiar with it? I’m not sure it is particularly well known but I could be wrong.

Either way, now that I have thought about this book to write this post it has made me think that I might start putting a small message in the front of books that I gift from now on. I think it will only gain in importance for the recipient as time goes on. I love the message from my grandparents much more now than I did at the time that I received the book and I’m sure that the older I get I will love it even more than I do now.

Related post – My most memorable childhood stories

What is your opinion on writing a message inside a book? 

I didn’t think I would ever be that person that would want to write inside books, I always thought of annotations as a form of defacement. I’m the person that gets upset if someone folds down a page. But this isn’t the same as that is it. This is an example of the multilayered value of a book. They can mean so many different things to different people and whilst I’m not suggesting that we all start writing reviews in every book we read, I do think that it is lovely to write a message in a special book. Who knows what that message will mean and who knows where that book may end up and who else may read that message. I’m sure that so many people have picked up a book in a second hand shop and read a message from a perfect stranger that has made them smile and wonder who that person is and why they wrote it and how many other people have read the same message and wondered the same things.

For me personally, there is something so romantic, heart warming and magical about the mystery of it all.

What are your thoughts on this? Have they changed over time?

I‘m really interested to hear what you think so please leave a comment below.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post.

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Thanks for reading!

Until the next time…Jess x






11 thoughts on “Does a personal message in a book increase the sentimental value and should we all be writing them?

    1. What stops you from writing inside them? It’s only recently that my opinion has changed, the old me would never have dreamed of writing inside one, I’m yet to actually do it though so I wonder if I will be brave enough when the time comes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I guess that one reason is as a child I was taught to look after books, which included not scribbling in them! And remember it was a bad thing at school to write in text books. Also as a former librarian it’s really annoying when people write in books that don’t belong to them! It’s just ingrained in me, I suppose.


      2. They are good reasons for avoiding it, I was also taught not to scribble in them and yes I remember the warnings in school to not write in textbooks! That stayed with me through uni, I had hundreds of post it notes stuck throughout them instead.

        Liked by 1 person

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