Dedicating your new book to a family member is very common amongst authors. Every once in a while, one is so sweet and funny that many take notice.
That was the case with Ben Philippe, a young author who just released his debut young-adult novel The Field Guide To The North American Teenagerlast week. Philippe dedicated the book to his mother, Belzie. But it’s what Philippe wrote next that got people’s attention.
Image Via Forbes
In an interview with Forbes, Philippe said that the humorous message was a nod to how many parents like to prioritize financial security amongst their kids and how a career in the arts doesn’t make them feel better.
“I think some parents see the arts as a state of permanent unrest for their kids. Financial safety doesn’t look like multiple part-time jobs, ‘gigs,’ or chugging coffee working on a manuscript at 2 a.m.”
Nevertheless, Philippe said that his mother liked the dedication.
And so did many others. Once the book was talked about on a podcast from BookRiot, several people on Twitter began sharing photos of the dedication on Twitter, with thousands of likes following each post. Here are two of them:
The dedication portion of a book is on of the most oft skipped over, for understandable reasons. After all, what do any of us care about the personal affections of an author we’ve never met? But for this reason, the dedication page is an opportunity for authors to slip in little jokes like small treasures uncovered only by that completionist breed of readers who must read every single line of text in a volume, including the copyright.
Here is a healthy list of some of the most amusing book dedications that, if they don’t encourage you to read the books they accompany, should at least encourage you to pay more attention to book dedications in the future.
As nearly as possible in the spirit of Matthew Salinger, age one, urging a luncheon companion to accept a cool lima bean, I urge my editor, mentor and (heaven help him) closest friend, William Shawn, genius domus of The New Yorker, lover of the long shot, protector of the unprolific, defender of the hopelessly flamboyant, most unreasonably modest of born great artist-editors to accept this pretty skimpy-looking book.
To Sophie, who, taking into account the effects of compound interest, must have even more than a quarter of a million pounds by now, so this is her absolute last chance to do right by me or else I’m dedicating Book Four to that billionaire Onassis girl, or maybe the really nice one out of Lost.
To Evangeline Lilly, Jennifer Garner, Julie Christie, Phoebe Cates, Wendy James out of Transvision Vamp, Alison Clarkson, Molly Ringwald, Beyoncé, Louise Lombard, Miss France 1998, and that elfin one from the first series of America’s Next Top Model.
Don’t start crying about it now, Sophie. I warned you this was on the cards.
To Grandma, for being my first editor and giving me the best writing advice I’ve ever received: “Christopher, I think you should wait until you’re done with elementary school before worrying about being a failed writer.”
You know how it is. You pick up a book, flip to the dedication, and find that, once again, the author has dedicated a book to someone else and not to you.
Not this time.
Because we haven’t yet met/have only a glancing acquaintance/are just crazy about each other/haven’t seen each other in much too long/are in some way related/will never meet, but will, I trust, despite that, always think fondly of each other!
This one’s for you.
With you know what, and you probably know why.
Featured Image Via Pinterest and mbtskoudsalg.com.