Monday, April 18, 2011

What is your most precious book?

A few days ago, Sheila over at Book Journey (a great blog, by the way) wrote this terrific post entitled What is Your Most Treasured Book? where she shared her treasure, the dictionary her late father used when he was in Vietnam; it was recovered after his death, one of only a few things she has of his. First of all, thank you Sheila for sharing such a moving and personal story with us; I was really touched.

Of course I got to thinking about what my own most treasured books are. I can't think of one that towers above the rest, but a few things come to mind. There's my childhood copy of Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans, with my name written in crayon on the inside cover, and my mother's copy of Gone With the Wind, which I don't own but it was one of the first grown-up books I read and I was thrilled recently when I found a copy of the same edition in a used bookstore. And there are my precious first editions- Possession, by A.S. Byatt, signed even, and The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje, which I splurged on this year, and some of my other signed books, like Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris and others.

Then a week ago I found a first edition of one of my recent favorites, Gestures, by H.S. Bhabra, in a used bookstore. I think I wrote about this in one of my Friday Finds posts; it's not a particularly well-known book and the first edition isn't valuable but it's valuable to me, and that's what really counts when it comes to precious books. 

What's your most treasured book? Is it something from childhood, from your family or a loved one, or something that you just love because you loved the book when you read it?