Wednesday, November 27, 2013
FIRST BOOK EVER PRINTED IN AMERICA
I owned a used bookstore (not a rare books store however) from 2001 to 2005 and loved it!
One of the best things about a used bookstore was discovering all of the goodies that people brought in to sell. Of course, a lot of the books were bestsellers or comics or other types of books that could be found at Barnes & Nobles - and for me, that was great because it was my day to day bread.
However, every box that came in was a surprise and once in a while, a "true" treasure would come in that really came to find my "inner book lover".
Two particular events stand out.
On a cold Thursday night, I received a call from someone asking me if I would be interested in purchasing Nancy Drew books. While these were not usually popular at my store, I had always loved the series and thought it would be a great addition, so I invited them to come and show me the books, thinking I would end up with a few books in the series.
Well, imagine my surprise when I opened the box to find the first 7 books in the series - all first editions complete with dust jackets in excellent condition. I immediately purchased them and spent the next week just looking at them, touching them (ever so gently) and trying to imagine the history these books went through. After doing much research, I did eventually sell them, but not after seriously considering keeping them.
The second item came to me through another full box of books. Someone brought in a huge box of bestsellers which I basically bought after looking through about one half of the box. When I saw that they were all recent bestsellers, I gave them a price for the entire box and then put the box to the side for a few days until I could sort and price all the books.
A few days later, I decided to go through the entire box and at the very bottom of the box - I found a Ernest Hemingway book which was completely out of character for the rest of the box. Now, I am not a huge fan of Hemingway, but I was curious and discovered that what I had was a first edition of A Farewell to Arms, minus the dust jacket. I was, of course, thrilled and after debating, once again with myself, I did eventually sell it.
Now, the very first book ever written and printed in the United States has just been sold at Sotheby. The book is a rare Bay Psalm Book and just looking at the picture I can almost feel myself touching the pages!!!!!
I love, love the fact that we are preserving our old books - there is nothing like touching a book and thinking of all the things/history this book has gone through.
Yes, ebooks are great - I use them all the time, but when I read an article such as this one, I hope that we NEVER, EVER give up on "real books".
Here is the link to the full article: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/26/us/worlds-most-valuable-book-auction/index.html?hpt=hp_c3
Thank you CNN for the picture and the article!