Our Girl in Chicago, Terry Teachout's co-blogger, has a wonderful post about strange things written in used books. I've never found a fifty-dollar bill or a Salvador Dali doodle, but I have my own prize collection of inside-flap oddities. In Berlin I picked up a gorgeous red-jacketed copy of James's The American, which was signed "Reynolds Crink[something], Brown, 1940." I imagined a convoluted tale of a James-loving soldier-aesthete who fought in the war, shacked up with a German girl (or boy) in Berlin, and left this token behind. My copy of Turn of the Screw and Other Short Stories comes from the library of the Northern California Bible College, where not a living soul ever checked it out. The most chilling inscription I've found was in a paperback of Lord Jim: "Texas School Book Depository, 1963." By far the most thrilling was the signature reproduced above. I was in a Vermont bookstore some years ago when I began noticing a peculiar excess of German books about music. They all, it turned out, came from the library of the great pianist Claudio Arrau. I went away with several boxes of them: most of Adorno's musical writings, Beethoven's conversation books, du Moulin Eckart's biography of Cosima Wagner (!), Paul Bekker's book on Beethoven, various booklets from the Darmstadt Summer Courses, and, believe it or not, Cage's Music for Marcel Duchamp, which, alas, Arrau seems never to have played. The pianist had a summer home in Vermont; there is now a road named after him.