So there I was, rushing around the Seward Community Library trying to print out the latest section of my novel before closing (out of printer cartridge and nowhere to buy it down here, sigh, sigh), when I look down and see a stack of discarded books, with this one the top:
Yes, an old copy of “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. It’s copyright dated from 1897, the original publishing date (May 26, 1897). And I got it for two bucks.
I am SO excited.
Of course, it’s falling apart and not in the best condition and the cover isn’t original, which makes the retail sale value low, the library clerk explained to me as I held that book in my hands and refused to let go.
As if I care about retail value! As if I would sell one of my books!
What I love is the history, the hundreds of hands that must have held this book, the houses where it once lived, the many lives it viewed. Imagine it!
More intriguing is how it ended up in Seward. Has it been here the whole time, tucked in someone’s home and later donated to the library upon his or her death? Did children read it and squirm with fright, did it keep them awake at night–how many nightmares did this book cause? How many lovers did it bring together, how many deceits did it witness, how much happiness did it bring?
I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m totally hooked. I think I shall sleep with this old copy of “Dracula” on my pillow tonight. Who knows what I might dream, maybe of ol’ Bram himself.