If found please return


During the break, I was going through the stuff that I have hoarded. It is the thing to do at this time of year. There is something about the enforced period of relaxation that makes you want to sort your life out and clear out the clutter. It is cathartic.

I came across a notebook, one of those with an elastic strap to hold it all together. It was a strange shade of light green, somewhere between lime and sage. Someone must have given me it as a while ago as I had forgotten about it but I don’t write much down these days and so it takes me a while to get around to using such things.

Anyway, I flicked through the pages as you do with a new book. I love the smell and feel of the virgin pages. They were a vellum colour with faint narrow rule if that is your thing.

Inside the front cover was printed helpfully:

If found please return to:



As a reward $ _______________________

I found this a little sad. If I had found a book with an address inside I would have happily put it in an envelope and sent it to the owner. I would hope that no thought of a reward or even recompense would be necessary as I would see it as a goodwill gesture to a fellow traveller and I would hope that, should I lose the book, the finder would do the same.

Clearly the printer did not think so, either consciously or unconsciously. I would like to give them the benefit of doubt yet the printing of the dollar sign is a deliberate act.

It is a sad day when all human transactions can be boiled down to a cash value.

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