Wow, that's the first time I've considered bothsidesism. Thank you.

My great aunt, a journalist on Good Housekeeping, attributed her inability to throw away any 'good' piece of paper (which effectively meant any piece of paper, as far as I could tell) to the shortage of paper in the Second World War, and her large house in Kent consequently ended up being piled high with seemingly random stacks of paper. I wonder if future archaeologists will be able to link habits of bothsidesism to first-hand experiences of WWII?

That said, your grandfather's habit of writing poetry on the reverse of book jackets seems rather a radical development. As a dustwrapper devotee, some might say fetishist, I much prefer to see jackets on books, and have often wondered why purchasers of early 20th-century books seemed to have such scant regard for them. A post on the history and significance of book jackets would be very welcome.

Lastly, did you know there is some bothsidesism going on with the first British edition of George Orwell's Animal Farm? If you take off the jacket you will find that on the back, instead of the blank paper you might expect, it says 'Searchlight Books'. The story is that the publishers, Secker and Warburg, were so short of paper at the time (1945) that they had to recycle whatever surplus happened to be at hand, and the ill-starred Searchlight series filled the breach. Another WWII phenomenon. There is I believe an American company that will sell you facsimile first edition jackets (a racket IMHO tailor-made for ebay fraudsters, but that's another story), but they don't know about the Searchlight wrinkle, so it's a good way of weeding out fakes. Bothsidesism foils fraudsters!

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Fascinating! Thank you. I didn't know about that Animal Farm recycling or unwanted paper (something that interests me in a c16-17 context). I see a copy is now £ 6,704.21 on abebooks!

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All Animal Farm jackets are equal, but some are more equal than others. For six grand I would hope to get an actual searchlight, ideally signed 'Eric Blair aka G. Orwell, searcher for light', thrown in, but recognise this might be asking a bit too much.

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