Rediscovered: A Relic, with Squiggles

Autograph Hound Saturday yet again, and our resident Autograph Hound Brian Leno jumps into the ongoing discussion about indecipherable squiggly signatures: 

Most of the signatures in my collection are probably pre-1975.

I still read the authors I enjoyed in my youth, and have found very few writing today that can really capture my attention — although admittedly I haven’t looked that hard.

However, I am willing to venture into new territory, so I just lately purchased a signed copy of Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The signature page is an eye-catching one, and I’ve heard nice things about the book, so I’m looking forward to reading it.  

With the evidence in front of us we can tell which signature belongs to Preston, and which to Child. But I would defy anyone to say whose autographs these were if they were just presented without any outside information.

Nostalgia might be kicking in, but I do believe writers used to take more time with their signatures — before the days of mass signings and bookstore extravaganza affairs. While there were signed and numbered editions back in “the good old days” it seems to me that the autographs were much cleaner and clearer.

I probably shouldn’t complain, my signature is a scrawl, and I used to get called into the office because no one could read my writing. Plus I appreciate the time it takes for an author to sign hundreds of books nowadays — and this book is in my collection to stay.

I still like those older writers’ signatures, though. Perhaps I’m the relic.

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