I use vintage books for all sorts of things, so naturally I pick them up here and there at estate sales, garage sales, or the salvation army. I’m not a collector, so I don’t pick up tons, since what I do with them, a little goes a long way. In addition I have some vintage books that belong to me personally and I would never cut apart and people give them to me as well. I have this problem now where I have too many vintage books and have no place for them, and can’t bring myself to get rid of them or cut them apart, and can’t differentiate between the books I want to keep and the junk books I have for junk. I’ll pick up a book that I am sure is something I bought to cut apart but then upon closer examination I think “What if this is one of those books… ya know, like when you hear about how someone picks up a used book for a quarter and then finds out it is actually worth $2,500?” or maybe “even if it isn’t worth much now, what if it would be worth tons in 25 years?”
Earlier this week I went to the library to find a good quality vintage book (the print and paper quality are nice and won’t crumble apart by bending a page). I found a book that looked great and bought it for a $1. It’s called The Light Of Asia by Edwin Arnold. Before I even got home, I was in the car and I opened the book again and a page that I didn’t see when originally leafing through it opened up and showed the handwritten letter above. It looks like it says:
“Dear Linda, This is the most beautifully written book I have ever read and although in money value it is very small the intrinsic value is beyond estimate. Read it whenever you want something beautiful to think of and at the same time think of one who loves you very much.” and then there is a signature which looks like it might say FA Terry, MD.
As if this dedication page weren’t enough, I looked up the book on ebay it looks like I got a deal because I see copies of the book listed anywhere from $9 to near $200! Ugh, another book that I can’t cut apart.