Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When I First Picked Up the Book ...

... I didn’t believe what I was seeing ...

... A genuine first edition “Trixie Belden Mystery from 1948. Trixie has always been my favorite book series, especially when I was a young girl.

There are 16 original books, but a few years ago, they found a new author and started writing more Trixie books – in paper back – ick, I’m a hardcover girl all the way, so I’ve never read any of the newer books.

I currently own the 1970 Whitman edition of the books, hard cover, of course, so these mean the most to me because I’ve always loved the covers. But deep down inside, I have always coveted the first edition books, even though they are truly rare, especially if you find one in good condition. The only time I’ve ever seen these books was from my babysitter’s daughter and they were much older than my collection.

I’ve seen the older hardcovers on eBay and Amazon, but $200 is a bit rick for my blood, so I never dreamed of owning a first edition ...

... until I walked into Dave’s Antiques. Dave’s is a little hole in the wall in the middle of Lancaster, Kentucky, and it feels like you’re walking into a cave. My anxiety normally keeps me out of places like this, but something was beckoning me into Dave’s.

As my hubby looked around at the older Depression glass, trying to find the green parrot pattern of glass. I saw the crate of books in the back of the store and I slowly walked to it. I sat down on a chair that reminded me of something out of Penn’s Store, easing into it so as not to break it down.

I slowly started pulling out the old books. There is just something about the smell and feel of an old book that makes my spine tingle. Old cookbooks – something my Momma loved – early readers, a third edition of an obscure Edgar Alan Poe book, and then there it was. I could hardly believe my eyes.

“Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion.” My hands were trembling as I opened the dusty books. It was not in mint condition by any means, but it was in good condition as as I turned to the title page, I couldn’t believe my eyes – 1958. I was holding in my hands a very first edition of a book I thought I’d never see.

As I carefully carried the book to the front, Dave was dickering with my hubby over a green parrot tea saucer.

“How much for this book?” I calmly asked.

“Don’t you already have that one?” my hubby innocently asked.

“No, I don’t think I do,” I replied, giving him that look.

“Did it come out of that crate in the back?” asked Dave.

“Yeah,” I replied.

“Well, I’ll take $2 for it.”

I looked at the book and said, “It’s in pretty bad shape. How about $1.50?”

“Sold,” said Dave

On the way home, my hubby said, “you do own that book – I bought it for you.”

“I know, but this is a very first edition. Last time I found one on Amazon, it was worth $225.

My hubby was silent all the way home as I caressed my new, “old” book.

**(This was a jumpstart for the August 28, 2010 Nomadic Ink Writing Group)

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