30 October 2015


The problem with used book sales is the sieve of a brain that completely forgets that one already owns that book.

Case in point:

I, buying the book for the cover, picked up a pristine paperback copy of Margaret of the Imperfections not so long ago. When I got home, it went in the stack of books to be read. It was duly read. [It was okay - a couple of the stories were excellent, one needs to be turned into a play, and the rest were unmemorable.] I took it downstairs to shelve it, in alphabetical order with all* of the other fiction in the house, and discovered that I ALREADY OWNED A COPY. Clearly I am imperfect, or my memory is.

Figuring that, given a choice, one should always keep the hardcover in lieu of the paperback**, I plucked the hardcover off the shelf just to see if it rang any bells. I certainly hadn't remembered reading it ever before, but opening it up, I found an inscription on the flyleaf.


I bought the book for my mother, for Christmas, in 1991. When we packed out her house, I took it home and shelved it. I wonder if she ever read it. Probably, it would have been unlike her not to, but I can't know anymore. But our books tell the stories that we've forgotten.

* Well, most. There are books in other rooms.
** And now that I have the hardcover, who wants the paperback? Raise your hand. I'm mailing the paperback to a friend named Margaret.


Jocelyn said...

Ah, that moment of opening the cover and being taken into the book's history, etc. Sigh.

I really love that you're someone to mail a book to a friend. :)

Maggie said...

Well, I'd be happy to receive it, for the title alone, which describes me perfectly.
Of course, that's a more robust postage to Spain....

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh that happens to me all the time! Sometimes I know I already have a copy but if there's a prettier edition, I will snap it up. Lots of times I forget that I already have a copy though...