Monday, April 27, 2020

Every book has a story

I often buy used books, and it's always interesting to contemplate their history. Who owned them? Why and how did the previous owner acquire the book? Did they purchase it or was it a gift? And so on.

Currently I am 75% of the way finished reading my used copy of John Clellon Holmes' Go. It's shown above (curated HERE). I don't remember when or how I acquired it (mea culpa).

Of interest to me is that inside the front cover is a person's name in red ink and what I assume are phone numbers (without area codes). Is Jennifer Shaw the previous owner or did the previous owner jot her name and phone numbers down in the book for some reason (no paper available)? Did Jennifer and the previous owner meet in a coffee shop and share phone numbers? Lots of possibilities.

Inside are some underlinings and comments (in the same red pen). For example, the annotator discovered what they thought was a definition of "BEAT GENERATION" on p. 161.

So here's the point: If you are the previous owner, contact us at The Daily Beat -- we'd like to interview you for an upcoming blog post. If you think you know who the previous owner was, please ask them to contact us. Our e-mail address is:

We'll unravel this mystery if we can.

Oh, and what's the Kerouac connection here? Well, Holmes (the book's author) and Kerouac were close friends for many years, and Holmes' novel, Go (1952), tells the story of the early Beats, including Kerouac (as Gene Pasternak).

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