The thing that makes bookselling in the used & rare book trade gratifying is the warm feeling you get when you connect the right person with just the right book. This year, we will be thinking about someone named Roy at Christmas, because we happen to know that he is getting a very special present from one of his family members. I feel safe in saying this, as Roy does not have a computer, or use one, so what I write here will not be a spoiler.
He lives in a trailer by a small creek in a tiny hamlet not far from us. College educated, he digs ditches for a living – and has for many years. These are very precise and difficult digs, in places where machinery can’t go to do the job. He is known locally as “Digger” or “The Mole.” He is also one of the most well-read, literate people I have ever known. His ability to recite poetry or long quotations from literature is incredible. Perhaps it’s because his brain isn’t muddled with all the other junk most of us are exposed to every day. It’s a real pleasure to discuss literature with him, and he has a keen eye for collectible books and good writers. He is also the kind of person who has helped us haul gravel for our stone patio project, and loaned us tools.
His favorite writers are many, including T. S. Eliot, E. B. White, P. G. Wodehouse and more. But his favorite author by far is F. Marion Crawford. Roy has painstakingly assembled an impressive collection of the author’s works and knows everything about the man – but he has nothing signed by him. He told us of once seeing a signed edition in a shop, and how he much he wished that he had been able to purchase it.
As his cousin normally stops by Old Scrolls in the weeks leading up to Christmas to select a book for Roy, we made a special effort this year to seek out an author-signed copy by F. Marion Crawford. We were able to locate a lovely signed limited edition which was reasonably priced. We notified Teresa, his cousin, and she was happy to purchase it. We carefully packaged it up and shipped it to her a few weeks ago. Oh, how we would love to see the look on his face when Roy opens that package! A more perfect present couldn’t be chosen.
A lovely copy, signed by the author, in its original slipcase will be finding a very appreciative home with Roy this year, and bringing him joy for years to come.
Thank you to all of our great customers who have made 2011 a successful year for Old Scrolls Book Shop. To the many people who have purchased books from us, or sold books to us, or have stopped by to visit or corresponded with us – we offer our sincere appreciation for helping to make our used & rare book business a labor of love. We will be thinking of all the special books we helped to place under many trees this season…and hope that each one will bring lasting cheer to its new owner.