Alright, I promised you all more information on a recent special find at my local library’s book sale [see this post]! I was going along the tables, accumulating interesting looking books to stuff into a shopping bag for $1, when I saw a slim green book lying in a box under the table. I saw the author’s last name: Hale. That sounded familiar to me as something I’d written down in my To Read Notebook many years ago to someday track down and read. I picked it up and I was right. It was “The Man Without a Country,” by Edward Everett Hale, although the title was wrong on the cover. I could tell the cover was one of those deals when older libraries want to keep certain book but the cover needs rebound. It was maybe done sometime in the ’60’s. I just added it to my stash and kept going.
After I’d paid for them (which nearly broke the bank– just kidding!), I sat down in the library lobby to wait for my ride. I started to peruse my new books. When I opened the cover of the “The Man…” book, I noticed the type seemed quite old. I couldn’t really see too well at the time, as I had my contacts in and can’t read very well with them. But the copyright date was 1897. It didn’t surprise me why it had been rebound, but the pages themselves were in pretty good condition.
Then I got to leafing through the little book further. There was a page with an old library pocket glued to it, a Date Due sticky over top that, and a stamp that said, ‘WITHDRAWN.’ I turned the page, and there was another paper glued to a blank page. It was one of those fold out kind of papers, but it didn’t look like it had come with the book. When I unfolded it, I saw there was old handwriting. How interesting! Many of the books I own have previous owner’s signatures, some of them written even over 100 years ago. But this wasn’t just a signature, it was a little message written out.
Did you see what I saw?? Edward Everett Hale! The Edward Everett Hale wrote in my copy of “The Man Without a Country,” a true classic, that I now own! And I accidentally stumbled upon it for pittance at a book sale and didn’t even know what I was getting when I bought it! Whoopee!!
The paper is dated 1907, which makes it only two years before Hale passed away. From what I can make out, his message reads: “I hope no one who reads this Book, may ever live through such a crisis as that which called it into Being. ~Edward E. Hale, Jan. 8, 1907” I do not know what the story is about since I have yet to read it, but I don’t want to go reading spoilers. I don’t know if the book itself is worth anything, since it’s not a first edition, has been rebound, and is a library discard. But that doesn’t matter to me. I can’t wait to read it for myself since I now own a copy the author sign personally!
Have you ever found a really cool book at a used book sale? Do tell!