Saturday, 9 October 2010
Not just any book, though.
First of all, let me say that a well-used book is probably the best form of transportation around. Hey, even Emily Dickinson agrees with me there. Will, though, although definitely used, wasn't exactly used well. His spine is so much more than cracked that I think you'd have to call it fractured, his cover is frayed to the cardboard and held together with some very questionable blue tape, and the appendix pages are gradually exiting out the back. Someone at some point taped in some typewritten labels along the edges, but they're disappearing as the tape decays.
I loved this book, though.
My father salvaged it years ago from a box of old books that was left on a trash heap. It was probably someone's college Shakespeare text (in fact, Dad brought home a college literature survey book at the same time) and I don't think it was a terribly expensive edition, but it was my first go at Shakespeare. I've no doubt that I was too young to understand nearly as much as I thought I did of what I was reading, but for whatever reason I was fascinated by the musty old thing's contents.
I spent a lot of hours with this book.
Years later I used some of my Christmas money to buy my very own, pristine Oxford Shakespeare from the University bookstore (and let me tell you, a zoology student gets a few odd looks hauling around a massive volume of Shakespeare) and the old, ratty Shakespeare got left at my parents' house (where it lives to this day), but I guess I'll always have a fondness for it and the very valuable transportation it provided to a kid who was just getting started in a life-long love affair with the classics.