Thursday, October 05, 2006
The other day I popped into my local charity shop to hand myself in. Just kidding. I popped into the charity shop to browse as these places are full of overlooked treasures. I in particular always look out for books of a certain age. My last treasure find was some years ago at an old book shop in Streatham (or St. Reatham for those traditionalists) in South London. In fact come to think of it, it was called the South London Book Shop. I'm sure of it. Browsing through the Sci-Fi section as I always did, I came across a book called the Time Machine naturally by H.G. Wells. The really interesting thing about it was when it was published. 1920. This book is priceless to me in everyway but in the monetary value of it. Why? When I hold the book, it feels like no other. Every page I turn makes me feel privelaged to do so like I hold something very very special. It goes without saying that it is his finest book written. For a book to make its way into my hands after seventy years or so handed on person to person, surviving all those years relatively unscathed is remarkable. There doesn't seem anything quite so special in the f limsy mass produced quality of the same book in modern times. So my advice to people is, if you really enjoy reading and have time to go hunting, find that favourite of yours (if it is a classic) of the earliest possible edition printed. It really does make all the difference.