Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Dollar a Minute


A couple of days ago, I visited the Friends bookstore at the public library. According to the parking meter, I was there for thirteen minutes — which I thought was wonderful, because in that time I spent thirteen dollars. Five of those dollars went to the purchase of this book:



The Treasury of Song for the Home Circle
(without words)

World Publishing Company
Guelph, Ontario
Copyright 1882, by Hubbard Brothers, Philadelphia
517 pages. $5.00.


[click to enlarge]



The rest went to these:

Prometheus Bound, by Aeschylus. Edited with introduction, translation, and notes by Janet Case. J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd. Aldine House, London. June 1922 reprint of January 1905 first edition. In Greek and English. 135 pages. $.50.

The Trial, by Franz Kafka. Definitive Edition translated from the German by Willa and Edwin Muir. Revised, and with additional materials translated, by E.M. Butler. Illustrated by George Salter. The Modern Library, New York (1964). 341 pages. $2.00.

More Collected Verse, by Robert Service. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York (1967). 977 pages, plus title and contents pages for each of the five books contained. $2.00.

The 26 Letters (a nicely illustrated history of the alphabet), by Oscar Ogg. The Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York (1948). 253 pages. $1.50.

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne (“Phiz”). Afterword by Marjorie Housepian Dobkin. The Reader’s Digest Association (1984). 399 pages. $2.00.

I had intended to take more pictures, especially of the song book, but somehow the camera slipped into the “view the memory stick” mode and I don’t know how to change it back. It’s my son’s camera. The next time he’s here, he can straighten it (me) out. Oh — and this pile of books is still on my desk. It’s getting mighty crowded around here.


Update:
In the Forum: chirrurgeon monstrolata.

17 comments:

Elisabeth said...

What a brilliant find, William.

When I started to read this post I feared you might have found a parking ticket.

Not so. Great joy. As they say, the best things in life are free, or nearly free.

vazambam said...

Whoa, there, pardner: I do fear Elisabeth has something there--y'all failed to tack on the price of parking in your goods total--unless you moseyed in on a swayback nag, that is. Great find, no matter what the price though!

William Michaelian said...

Well, I guess my lead was a bit misleading. So sorry you two were mislead. Miss Lead, I’d like you to meet Mr. Lead. But of course I have no idea where this is leading....

Two bits went into the meter. Two bits for our fair city. A dime would have done, but I had none. So I went inside and... they booked me.

Wine and Words said...

That book cover is a work of art. Should it hold equal treasures, you will be doubly blessed.

We have a Friends of the Library bookstore two blocks from my house. Can't beat the prices, or the diversity.

Janice said...

Well it would seem that my comment was lost in cyber space so I will try again :)

William I can't think of a better way to spend 13 minutes and $13.00!
I love old bookstores, used bookstores, anywhere I can get more books for my library! Here are just three of my finds;

Bleakhouse by Dickens, no copyright page, it's from "The Home Library Library", A. L. Burt New York. Written in an 1800's script in ink reads, "Papa, from Rheua. Xmas, '99.

Moby Dick or The Whale by Herman Melville, Copyright 1930, Random House:New York.

Sammy Kaye's Sunday Serenade Volume I Book of Poetry, Copyright New York 1942 and...
Sammy Kaye's Sunday Serenade Volume II Book of Poetry, Copyright New York 1947.

To me books are silent companions that tell you stories as soon as you open their covers...

William Michaelian said...

Annie, isn’t it great? Paging through, one of the first songs that caught my eye was a Russian “anthem,” which I immediately recognized as the opening music from Doctor Zhivago.

So, Janice, in addition to collecting old photos, you’re stocked with old books as well. I might have known. The song book was inscribed twice — the first time by Eva Parker, on December 25th 1893, the second to Verna Hauspeter from Mrs. Waring on July 11th 1939.

And I’m also back in picture-taking mode....

Janice said...

I know that some people don't like when someone has inscribed a message in a book but I feel that it adds a bit of history to that particular book and now it's part of mine. Also with an inscription from the 1800's such as your book has, you have the names of real people and the years from that era, who held that same book in their hands...the book itself is a piece of art.

William Michaelian said...

Absolutely. I love the little messages, and sometimes you find other things — leaves, notes, to-do lists.... I love them all.

Janice said...

Oh I agree William!!! I once bought an old book and when I opened it at home, out fell at least seven 4 leaf clovers!!!

Shelli said...

What a gorgeous find! I'm jealous, but not coveting. It encourages me to get out and browse the bookstores in town.

William Michaelian said...

I’m all for it, Shelli. You never know what treasures you’ll find....

Janice, that has to be some kind of record.

awyn said...

What great finds, William. I love Robt Service's takes on the Yukon ("There’s a land — oh, it beckons and beckons/And I want to go back — and I will..."). Never been there but I know the feeling. You are lucky to have access to such great bookstores!

William Michaelian said...

Indeed I am. And I love the whole random nature of it. Service was a favorite of my friend who died in January. In great part, I brought it home in memory of him.

rahina q.h. said...

and who would have thought that such precious gems would have cost so little... now imagine if you'd walked to the library and had all the money to spend.... but then maybe not, you might have had to buy a new table:)

William Michaelian said...

Also a wheelbarrow to bring the books home. Wouldn’t that be a great scene? A fool and his money are soon parted... but his books are with him to the end.

Vatche said...

Looks like a very interesting cover (though you shouldn't judge a book by it, it certainly grabs one's attention).

Anyway, as for visiting book stores (used or the regular kind)...I'm currently shelved out and have barely enough space. My parents scowls continue to become permanent as soon as they see me bring a new book in my hands into the house, which is why I often sneak them now. Shhh!!! Don't tell them anything...

Cool post, William. Write and read on!

William Michaelian said...

Vatche, the funny thing will be when you move out this fall and your parents see a gigantic moving van pull up in front of the house, and it takes three men all day to pack and load the books. They’ll be saying, “Where on earth did he keep all these?”