Yesterday, I mentioned the book
Hopefully, some of you bought it then…you could have saved $7 over today’s price. :)
One of my regular readers and commenters, Lady Galaxy, mentioned that a former student still had the copy they had used in Lady Galaxy’s classroom…close to forty years ago.
That got me thinking…
I have some p-books (paperbooks) where I have held on to the specific copies for years.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve held on to all of my p-books (unless I bought them to give them away), but still…these are different. :)
For example, I have one copy of Tarzan of the Apes which I’ve had for longer than Lady Galaxy’s student has had Alas, Babylon.
I have lots of other copies, but this one is special to me (even though it is falling apart).
Clearly, it’s intended to be a copy for kids…and I got it when it was age appropriate for me.
It does have something special in it.
It has an English-Mangani dictionary.
The Mangani are the “apes” that raised Tarzan. I put “apes” in quotation marks, because, if you read the books, they clearly aren’t any of the ape species that we know…and are most likely to be a different species of human (than Homo sapiens…that’s us).
There were rumors of “hairy bipeds” in Africa (as there are in the USA with Bigfoot or Indonesia with the Orang Pendek), and I’d be surprised if Burroughs didn’t intend them to be genus Homo rather than being pongids.
For one thing, they have a language.
Fortunately for us, as far as I can tell, the syntax is pretty much like English. ;)
There are quite a few words in the books…enough so that I’ve been able to translate things into Mangani.
I’ve also in the past made up new compound words. For example, I used “unk-dan-sopu” for a car. “Unk” is Mangani for “go”, and “dan-sopu” is a nut (from “dan” for “rock” and “sopu” for “fruit”). A car reminds me of a nut with a shell (and many cars do have a nut in them…at least, based on the way they are driven). ;) and it goes, so…
So, even though you can find interesting Mangani-English dictionaries on line:
I still want to hang on to that particular copy.
Yes, despite having several other editions of Tarzan of the Apes.
Part of me feels like that is wrong. That book might have the same impact on a child today that it had on me…am I denying the book to someone else because of my sentimentality?
However, there are two mitigating factors for me.
One is that the book is not in good shape…it would likely fall apart if read enthusiastically while hanging upside down from a tree limb…or while skateboarding through a concrete jungle. ;)
The other is that Tarzan is readily available free as an e-book…legally.
So, I feel like my copy wouldn’t be worth that much to a child, and that the book is widely accessible. You can get e-books free online and through public libraries.
I did give away a Kindle earlier this year
and I may do that again (maybe in the last quarter of the year). There didn’t seem to be much interest in it, though…I didn’t do it just to engage an audience, it felt good to do. However, if the opportunity to get the Kindle isn’t reaching very many kids, it reduces the chances that a kid who could change the world because of having had that vast free library gets it.
I don’t have a lot of copies like that…in most cases, if I could replace the books with e-books, I would. I might even (breathe! breathe! Inhale…exhale…inhale…exhale) donate my books if I could do that.
I’m not quite there, yet, emotionally.
Looking at that, though, it’s interesting that I’m okay with only owning e-book versions of the new books I get. Why shouldn’t it be that once I have an e-book of a p-book I own, I’m okay with getting rid of the p-book?
Maybe some day. :)
What about you?
Are there particular copies of books that you want to keep forever (or pass down to descendants)? If so, what is it about them that makes them keepers? Is it who owned them, or gave them to you? Is it your specific memories of where you read them? What’s the longest that you’ve owned a specific copy of a book? Do you have any that you “inherited”? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.