Author: Paul Gallico 20170422_105132
Title: Snowflake
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Year of publication: 1952
Place of publication: London
Place of purchase: Blossom Book House, Bangalore
Purchase cost: Rupees 50
Ownership: Secondhand
Transcription of inscription:
To a favorite uncle
from a favorite (he hopes!)
nephew. Happy birthday
on his ?th birthday


[marginalia on first page] 20170422_105047
25 : 3 : 53
Submitted by: Vismitha

The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor


Author: Gabriel García Márquez IMG_20170422_203201
Title: The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor
Publisher: Penguin
Year of publication: 1996
Place of publication: New Delhi
Translator: Randolph Hogan
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: Found in the mixed collection of Toopsi Ray and her daughter, Meghna. Toopsi says she bought this book secondhand to give to Kim, her husband at the time. The copy as she found it already had the first inscription. When her intended recipient didn’t seem to enjoy the book, Toopsi says she simply inscribed it to herself and took possession.
Transcription of inscriptions:
[primary inscription]
Happy Birthday

[secondary inscription, lighter impression]
Submitted by: Toopsi Ray, via Shalmi Barman



Author: উইলিয়াম শেক্সপীয়ার [William Shakespeare] IMG_20170324_153042
ম্যাকবেথ [Macbeth]
আদিত্য প্রকাশালয় [Aditya Publishing House]
Year of publication: 1998
Place of publication:
Place of purchase:
College Street, Kolkata
General comments: 
Found and purchased by Shrutakirti Dutta while collecting ‘copy books’ of Shakespeare for Jadavpur University’s Shakespeare in Bengal project. Translations and prose summaries of Shakespeare’s plays continue to be used by English students of the various Kolkata colleges which have had Shakespeare in their syllabi since inception. Going by the cover illustration and the illustrated flyleaf with a space for inscription, this abridged translation in prose was probably meant to be given to younger readers.
Transcription of inscription:
প্রিয় বিপ্লবের ‘জন্মদিনে’
সোনালীর প্রীতি

[On beloved Biplob’s ‘birthday’
Sonali’s loving
Submitted by: 
Shrutakirti Dutta, via Shalmi Barman

On Anarchism


Author: Noam Chomsky chomsky-cover
Title: On Anarchism
Publisher: Penguin
Year of publication: 2014
Place of publication: London
Place of purchase: Chakrabarti/Chatterjee, College Street, Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 250
Ownership: Gift
General comments: I got this as a birthday present from a friend of mine who is leaving India to do her PhD. This book reminded her of the very first political discussions we had in the sun-drenched winter afternoons in Presidency University, Kolkata where we spent our undergraduate years together.
Transcription of inscription:
স্নেহের দীপ্যমান-কে,
দুই-কুড়ি-এর পর সবটাই anarchy.

[To beloved Dipyaman,
Everything after two scores is anarchy.
Submitted by: Dipyaman

Kangal Malshat


Author: Nabarun Bhattacharya img_20161029_215338
Title: কাঙাল মালসাট (The War-Cry of the Beggars)
Publisher: Saptarshi
Year of publication: 2005 (3rd edition)
Place of publication: Serampore
Place of purchase: Chinsurah
Ownership: Gift; borrowed
General comments: Admin found this in a box of books left behind in the Department of English by Aritra Chakraborti, who recently completed his PhD at JU and moved to Hyderabad. Aritra da said that he had got the book as a present from his father, and got it autographed a couple of years later when he bumped into Nabarun da outside the now-closed Worldview bookstore on campus. Having the book on hand, he asked the author for an autograph; Nabarun da asked him why he wanted such a thing. He would go on to run into the author several times, at Jadavpur 8B, and at the Kolkata Book Fair where Nabarun da once asked him to write an article on Bengali pornography for his magazine Bhashabandhan. Aritra da admits that he never did get around to it.
Transcription of inscription:
বুড়োকে জন্মদিনে–

নবারুণ ভট্টাচার্য

[To the old fellow on his birthday–

Good wishes
Nabarun Bhattacharya
Submitted by: Aritra Chakraborti, via Shalmi Barman

Billie’s Blues: The True Story of the Immortal Billie Holiday


Author: John Chiltonbook-cover
Billie’s Blues: The True Story of the Immortal Billie Holiday
Publisher: Quartet
Year of publication: 1975
Place of publication: London
Place of purchase: Calcutta
Ownership: Gift
General comments: My dad’s present to my mum on her thirtieth birthday. A wildly generous compliment, even for the line maroing stage.
Transcription of inscription:
I think you’re doing better than her, Vasudha


29 May ’87


Postcard found inside the book.

Submitted by: Maya Palit

The Second Sex

Simone De Beauvoir
Title: The Second Sex
Translator: H.M. Parshley
Publisher: Pan Books
Year of publication: 1988
Place of publication: London
Place of purchase: College Street, Kolkata
Price: INR 300
Ownership: Thirdhand or above
Transcription of inscription:
Dearest B,
Happy Birthday
3rd Mar. 94
Submitted by: Kristi

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Author: Mark Twain                                            IMG_20160303_154955793
Title: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Publisher: Bantam Dell, a division of Random House, Inc.
Year of publication: 1981
Place of publication: New York, USA
Place of purchase: Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 149
Ownership: Gift
Transcription of dedication/inscription:
Dear Rachel,
Happy Birthday! (In the near future anyway) It has been great getting to know you (Emily) and seeing you again (Jarrod) over the course of this year. We apologize for not finding a good Indian History type book (believe us, Jarrod looked hard!) However, this is an American classic. You will find it a very quick read and we hope an enjoyable one. It takes place only a few hours from Mt. Pleasant Iowa where your father goes so frequently. We hope to see you again in the not-too-distant future!
Jarrod & Emily
Submitted by: Rachel Issac

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found


Author: Suketu Mehta
Title: Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
Place of publication: New Delhi
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year of publication: 2006
Ownership: Gift
General comments:
This was a birthday gift from a bunch of crazy colleagues (also several years my seniors). You can see the craziness, plus, I’ll leave it up to you to guess which is my favorite dedication among these.
Transcription of inscription:
Hope is not a thing to lose!
With ❤

S     Th  M
U     E     I
Kh  K    T
E     O   A
With lots of Amrita di


Wish all your dreams may get fulfilled. Wish you good luck. Keep smiling. 🙂
Amrita di

All that comes your way may never undo what you’ve grown up into.

All the Best
Submitted by: Sreyasi Nag Chowdhury

Tenidar Kando-karkhana

IMG_0991Author: নারায়ণ গঙ্গোপাধ্যায় (Narayan Gangopadhyay)
Title: টেনিদার কান্ডকারখানা (Teni da’s misdeeds)
Publisher: Sri Shyamapada Sarkar
Year of publication: 1990
Place of publication: Calcutta
Ownership: Gift
Price: Rupees 20
General comments: This was a gift from my para (neighbourhood) friend, Gogol. Gogol was the petname of two boys in our neighbourhood (their real or formal names being Utsav and Sharthok). There is a cherished para tradition of using pet names over formal names, so Utsav and Sharthok simply became known as Gogol-One and Gogol-Two respectively.
Transcription of inscription:
শ্রয়ণ এর
গোগোল (১)
২৪শে জুলাই, ৯৯
On Sroyon’s happy birthday
Gogol (1)
24th July 99]
Submitted by: Sroyon Mukherjee