Recently my sister gave me an early copy of The Wizard of Oz as a gift. This copy was published in 1903, just three years after the original was released. This book is now one of my most prized items. I love it immensely. I keep thinking about the almost-missing binding, the torn cover… about all of the hands that turned those pages over the years. Was there some other little girl out there whose life this story was such an important part of? How many times did she flip through the pages to glance again at the pictures? Did she stay up late at night reading hoping her parents didn’t find out?
A friend once shared an experience purchasing an antique copy of one of her favorite books with me. I remember sharing in her thrill – the incredible feeling of having a unique item in one’s hands. I keep wondering if perhaps I should start collecting old books. I don’t mean to buy and sell, or to profit from. I just mean to have. I would greatly enjoy having old Poe books, maybe Winnie the Pooh… or other childhood favorites.
A trip to local book stores is in order for sure. I hope to make a stop at one of the antique stores here in Salem soon, and maybe a stop at the Brattle Street Bookstore in Cambridge. I hope I can find some of these treasures!