This weekend is my town’s annual used book sale, which is always a good time.
An old gym in the back of the Town Hall building is filled with tables. Those tables are then filled with books. And then more books.
So many books. It’s wonderful.
I (and my wife, who spoils me) have been to a few of these now, usually with the primary goal of augmenting or improving my Stephen King collection.
We hunt the rows for books I don’t yet own, or perhaps a copy that’s in better condition that the one on my shelf.
After we got home, my wife pulled out a well worn list she’s apparently been keeping.
The list contains all of King’s books, with notes on when they were published, whether or not I already have a copy, and other details that she’s been using to surprise me with books.
I told you she spoils me.
Anyway, this was a good year for used Stephen King novels 🙂
We found better copies of a few different books, like The Tommmyknockers and Gerald’s Game, and some some new additions to my collection, like Insomnia, The Talisman, and Firestarter.
Firestarter isn’t in the best shape – but it’s one of his older books, so good hardcovers aren’t always easy to come by.
The star of the show this year is easily The Talisman. This is one of my favorite King novels, in part because it’s one of the first I ever read.
I was very excited when Lynne found a copy in the mountains of books!
But what’s better than finding a copy of a beloved book you’ve wanted to own for a long time?
Finding a first edition of that book. The Talisman was published in 1984, and this copy is part of the first run of the first edition!
Now, that doesn’t make it a particularly valuable book, I’d need to find a copy of the limited edition for that, but financial value isn’t the big thing here 🙂
The thing that excites me about this copy is it’s history, and the connection it represents.
This book is basically the same age that I am – give or take a few months. That prompts some really cool questions for me.
Who owned it? How many times did they read it? Once? Twice?
Did they buy and leave it on a shelf for thirty years? Maybe they loaned it to friends, or sold in in a yard sale?
How many people have flipped through these pages and loved them, as I did when I first read this book? How many new King fans got started with this specific copy of this book?
It kind of blows my mind.
It also makes me wonder what other treasures might be hiding on the tables in that gym…