Over the years, I've bought my mother a number of books, as most kids are wont to do for their parents, I suppose. While she's been cleaning up the last week or two, she's dumped a small handful back in my lap and said I need to sign them. Now, this boggled my mind, since they're not actually books I've written. =)
So I get the explanation of how it's the 'proper' thing to do, and it's good etiquette, so the person who recieves the book can remember who gave them the book, and when.
Ok, I can kiiiinda see that, but the larger part of me continues to just be boggled at the idea. Why would I want a book to be signed by someone who had nothing to do with it? The collector part of my brain would think that would devalue the book. The writer in me would be terribly insulted if anyone ever brought a copy of a book I wrote up to me, and some other schmuck had signed it beforehand. The last point was well on my mind when I was signing a cookbook by Gordon Ramsay, and all I had going through brain was what his reaction could possibly be at some other donkey signing HIS book!
Like I said, it makes a little bit of sense to me. I can see at least noting when you got a book, but signing a work that you had no part in creating? Nnngh. Am I supposed to sign a painting when I give those as gifts too? I mean, the logic tracks...
Personally, there's a LOT of etiquette I just don't get, never have and never will. It seems like so much bull half the time, and just busywork the other half. I find it more rude to sign the book, really.