Book Dedications

Today I had an odd thought. You know those dedications authors put after the title page of their book? I feel like those don’t get enough appreciation. There’s a whole page, usually dedicated to one or a few people close to the author. Isn’t it great that an author gets a whole page for themselves to say exactly what they want and appreciate the people who helped them through the book? Maybe that’s my sleep-deprived brain talking, but I feel like those deserve more notice.

The best book dedications are super sassy though, or give a nod to loyal readers. One of my favorites is the dedication in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: “…and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end.” That one set my little nerd-heart a-fluttering. 

Lemony Snicket uses his dedication pages creatively, writing them in the book universe. He dedicates all thirteen books to his dear Beatrice, who is, in fact, dead. The dedication for The Reptile Room reads: “For Beatrice- My love for you shall live forever. You, however, did not.” Or in The Bad Beginning: “To Beatrice-darling, dearest, dead.” With only one short line he inserts humor, nostalgia, and hints at those pesky mysteries he refuses to answer.

And according to this mental floss article, some dedications just won’t take any crap. Tobias Wolff wrote for This Boy’s Life: “My first stepfather used to say that what I didn’t know would fill a book. Well, here it is.” And e. e. cummings dedicated his book titled No Thanks to the fourteen publishers who turned down the book, arranging their names in the shape of a funeral urn.

If you wrote a book, who would you dedicate it to? Or would you give a big “up yours” to people who had doubted you?


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