Saturday, January 27, 2007

UN-EARTHING THE RARE GOLD NUGGET

Today I thought I would head downtown and check out the brand spanking new Public Library. I did not realize that the Grand Opening was to be at 12 noon, exactly the time I arrived and huddled outside the closed doors awaiting the magic and escape from the cold!

We did not wait too long, Upon entering I realized there were hundreds of people pouring in from all entrances. The ground floor quickly filled to capacity and it was difficult to move around. The various rooms housing the different sections were not open yet. We had to wait on all the pontificating before we were allowed entrance.

I went upstairs to the balcony area and looked down for awhile until I grew antsy.

I headed towards the Twice Told Book section, where they sell the discarded library books from all the branches. Sweet Relief, it was open and operating with hundreds of people sipping cappucinos and browsing among the cast off tomes.

I finally was able to squeeze in and try to check out the travel books.

Did not find any, but I was eye to spine on an old beaten up copy housed in a corner section under a sign that read "Classics".

To Kill A Mockingbird.

One of the very few books that I have read over and over. Perhaps only one of two books I have ever read twice. I picked it up and noted it was in pretty bad shape. The binding is cracked and held together with scotch tape. The dust jacket is gone.

I flipped it open and saw this......


I could not believe my eyes! I took the book to the counter and handed over the two measly bucks they wanted for the book and walked to my car in a daze.

Sure it's old and very beat up. It is beyond reprehension that the damaged dust jacket had been cut and pasted on the inside pages!

It is a first edition To Kill A Mockingbird!

I wonder how many eyes have read the words on the 47 year old pages. I wonder how many hands carefully turned every page and became more and more involved with this classic story.

What a day. The best $2.00 I ever spent.

19 comments:

swibirun said...

People were pontificating in a library? Have they no shame??

:)

Have a great weekend!
Chris
My Blog

Blue said...

You've got a 1st of one of the BEST books I've ever read. I am fille dwith envy & glad its gone to an apreciative home

meno said...

That is exactly the kind of thing that i would have been delighted with. Cool beans!

Cynthia said...

Ooh, ooh, ooooooh, when you hit gold, you do it well! Need I say I'm green with envy?

Suspect said...

Now I'm jealous.

:(

But congratulations nonetheless.

trying2hide said...

Oh why was I not there!

Gannet Girl said...

A prize!

Laura said...

Hey, that's definitely cool to get a 1st edition of a classic like that!

sognatrice said...

That's awesome! I've found some cheap, old, beat up first editions at yard/rummage sales, but never of a book I *really* loved. And I also love "To Kill a Mockingbird." Thanks for the comment on my blog :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Murray Girl!
I saw your blog via your reference to Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie. I married the trumpet player from that band. It didn't last and he's dick. But enjoy your blog from time to time.

Unhinged said...

I am a bookworm in every sense of the word, but I tend NOT to like the classics ... even so, To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the few I could read easily.

lightyears2venus said...

TKAM keeps popping into my life here and there and now here it is again. It should be made our national book, alongside the eagle and all those other symbols. You know how states have a state tree, a state bird, and so on (we even have a state tie, the bolo tie)? I wonder if it is the state novel of Alabama. Enjoy your treasure.
*debbi*

The Freelance Cynic said...

Woh.

Woh.

The history. The book. Are there tear stains on the pages of the court scene?

Love it, treasure it, even if like mine it is full of badly written GCSE notes.

On the other hand to quote Homer Simpson, 'I swore never to read again after 'To kill a Mockingbird' gave me no useful advice on killing Mockingbirds.
'It did teach me not to judge a man based on the colour of his skin, but what good is that to me?'

Paul said...

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy, they don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us."--Miss Maudie

Meander said...

wow! what a find! i just came across your blog through the bestest blog of all time...random blog and i am glad i did! there is so much rubbish out here in the blogosphere...i am delighted to find a blog of substance. thank you!

Skittles said...

Oh my gosh!!!!! THE best book ever!

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Mishy said...

Finds like this is why I am an antique dealer. Everytime I get a new piece I wonder... who owned this, did they love it, did someone give it as a gift...

I hope that this sense of wonder stays with you forever. Your writing reminds me of my oldest dauther....

I too have a 1st ed. of this book and will never part with it.

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