Tuesday, November 12, 2013

O. Henry found

Over the years I have seen that you can find old used books in the darnedest locations. Many times, they drift into antique stores, regardless of whether the store sells old books or not.

Years ago, I found a copy of "Adventures in Time and Space" atop some furniture on display in an antique store. I gave the owner a quarter for it. Another time, I stopped into a antique "store" that little more than a junkyard - and found a copy of "A Treasury of Modern Fantasy".

This weekend, as I wrote in my last post, my wife and I visited a used book store in a town with a lot of antique shops. One book I found there was a copy of the 1904 Doubleday publication of O. Henry's collection "Cabbages and Kings".

For a 109-year old book, it's in remarkable condition, and I'm very pleased with the purchase. I think I paid $2.99 for it.

But what's more amazing is that, later in the afternoon, while in an antique store, I found a battered old red copy of the 1926 Special Literary Digest Edition of "The Complete Works of O. Henry". It was sitting with a few other books on top of a chest of drawers. I paid the store owner two bucks for it.

Wow! This book is 1,400 pages, small type, stories run together, but there's all of them! It's bound in a bright red fake leather invented by Dupont called Fabrikoid.

I've always liked and admired O. Henry, and this is just a type of literary comfort food for me.

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