Saturday, 2 September 2006

Alana, from a suburb in north-west Sydney, is nineteen. She’s a BookMooch member and I mooched In Cold Blood from her last Sunday.

The Australia Post delivery notice appeared in my letterbox on Wednesday (or Thursday; I can’t remember) and this morning I fronted up at the post office during my usual Saturday-morning grocery outing.

It’s so neat: inside the front cover of the book, after I’d opened the bubble-wrap package, I found a note. She’d gone to some considerable trouble to find relevant images. "I’ve printed out some pictures I found online of the real characters of this story," she wrote. "Very interesting. (And chilling.)"

It’s cool to find a note like this in a book you’ve just received free of charge. And one you’d wanted to read for some time. The only difference was that it was the Vintage edition that was advertised on the BookMooch Web site and what I received was the Penguin edition. No biggie.

Her orthography speaks volumes about her earnest and enterprising character. I’ll keep this note inside the book for future reference. Each of the pictures on the A4 sheet is captioned in her hand. There’s ‘The Clutter Family’: ‘Herb’, ‘Bonnie’, ‘Nancy’, and ‘Kenyon’. There’s also ‘The Clutter Farmhouse (Present Day)’. There’s also ‘Richard “Dick” Hickock’, ‘Perry Smith’, and ‘Dewey’.

I added In Cold Blood to my LibraryThing inventory and tagged it: ‘american’, ‘twentieth century’, ‘non-fiction’, ‘crime’, ‘new journalism’. It takes the total in my collection up to 870 books. Here’s my current tag cloud (although it will probably keep changing slightly: I work on it almost every day; refining, correcting).

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