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Pickle Me This

February 4, 2007

The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson

I write my name in all my books, in pencil these days because sometimes ownership is temporary, but it must be asserted all the same. I don’t know why. But I do, write my name, and the date. I used to write my address and telephone number, but that was many years ago (at least five or six) and now I’m usually always in the same place anyway and so it’s unnecessary.

In my new copy of The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson, I’ve been provided a place to write my name, which I think is brilliant. Inside the front cover, “If lost, please return to ________ “. Which made me vow to never lose this book ever. But I can’t bring myself to write my name, because this book is so absolutely lovely I shant mar it. The only other book that has ever struck such a chord with me is my Snowbooks Edition of Virginia Woolf’s The London Scene. It’s mine, but you’d never know it to look at it. Some books are so absolutely perfect unto themselves that a tiny name in pencil (even mine) would be sacrilege. Even if the space for it comes ready-provided.

CS Richardson is a book designer, and this becomes obvious. But he has also written a beautiful little novel that I read tonight in the bathtub, and small as it is, he’s crammed a whole world inside. I wanted to read it again as soon I was finished. The End of the Alphabet is a lesson in subtlety, love and language. An A to Z in a variety of respects. And I could tell you more, but I think this book deserves reading instead of a summary.

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