Sunday, June 24, 2012


When I read a book -- for pleasure or otherwise -- I always read the Acknowledgements section.  I wonder if anyone else reads it, but my guess is that most people do not.  Why, then, do I read it?  If I have a weekend to finish a 300-page book for class on Tuesday, why do I bother to read one to three pages of acknowledgements?  Here are three reasons:
  1. There's a lot you can learn about someone from who they acknowledge.  In the book I'm working on currently, for example, the author thanks nearly everyone he has ever known, but the best part?  He thanked his students, even calling a few of them out by name.  I think that's pretty neat -- that a professor, the presumed "giver of knowledge," openly admitted that he learns from his students as much as he teaches them.  There's a humility there that tells me I can trust the rest of the book.

  2. The romantic in me likes the part where the author acknowledges his children and especially, his spouse.  It makes me think about what my future husband might say about me.  And what would I say about him?  In Archives Power, the author says this about his wife:  "Joyce has more than kept her promise that if I married her my life would never be boring."  And then he describes her accomplishments and current projects.  I like that acknowledgements such as this that aren't stereotypically romantic; they're . . . intellectually romantic.  That's what I'd like in a marriage.  I'd like to find someone who I'd feel proud to acknowledge in my own published work, and I'd like him to feel the same.

  3. Acknowlegements gives me an idea of the amount of time and effort it took for the author to write the book.  Knowing that makes me less judgmental.  I still think critically and may oppose the ideas put forth in the book, but I do so tactfully, when I know there's a hardworking and grateful person behind the scenes.  When I know he poured several years of his life into researching and writing, I gain a bit of humility that tells me I should at least give the author a shot.

I suppose the best way to close this post would be to write my own acknowledgements, but I'm gonna save that for another day.  (Can I even have an Acknowledgements section on my blog?  I mean, it is a published site . . .)

Thing I'm thankful for: sparkly make-up


Blogger Unknown said...

Another fun part to acknowledgements: recognizing people you know.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Oh, so true, Ed! So true!

9:51 PM  

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