Saturday, January 28, 2012

travis pope had also molted during the night

There are rules about used book stores.

You have to know them.

I wonder if it makes me a bad person as an author if I love used book stores.

There is almost nothing better than a good used book store.

Berkeley, California, where my son is a student at Cal, has some amazing used book stores.

A few weeks ago, when I took my son up there to deposit him back in the dorms for spring semester, we went into one of Berkeley's used book stores one afternoon.

I found a book that looked interesting. I had never heard of it before. I showed it to my son.

"Have you ever heard of this?" I said.

He said he'd heard of it, but had not read it.

I opened it and read the inside flap copy. It sounded good.

Inside the book, which was about 20 years old, was a stamp that said:


And, beneath that, in pencil, was written N-111

I wondered if it meant it was James's 111th novel.

Who knows?

Also, the stamp was crooked, like James was in a hurry to read the book, or maybe to place it on his bookshelf.

Somewhere around page 260, it looked as though James had spilled some blue fountain pen ink on the bottom of the book. The stain does not obscure any print, and I am certain it is fountain pen ink because I had always used fountain pens for most of my early writing.

My son and I both agreed the ink stain was very cool.

In the middle of the book was a bookmark, possibly from the bookstore where James originally purchased the book, in Livermore, California.

When my son saw the bookmark, he said that I now had to buy the book.

He said it is a rule that when you find a used book with that much extra stuff in it, you have to buy it.

That's a rule.

I try to always put as much extra stuff as possible in all my books.

Thanks for letting me find this one, Mr. Eddleman.