Second-Hand Books Are Treasures

Look what I found for 50¢ on the Used Books shelf of a bookstore in Cape May:

In hardcover, no less! Score! When I excitedly brought it to the register the clerk asked me if I’d ever seen the movie, and I felt like I was in the presence of a kindred spirit. (Full disclosure: I have seen the movie, but not in a very long time. Decades, probably. All I remember is the creepy hand of the old family patriarch reaching out from within the heavily curtained bed.)

Inside the book is an adhesive book plate that reads:

From The Library Of . . . . . .

CASS BRODER

Alas, a quick Internet search comes up with no interesting links for a Cass Broder. Whoever she is (and I assume Cass is a she, though I could be wrong), I wonder why she chose to give up the book. Culling her shelves of books she didn’t like? Bought but never read? I’ve been in those shoes myself. There’s likely someone out there right now with my unread copies of Cold Mountain or The Corrections or the first Thomas Covenant trilogy wondering what possessed me to get rid of them. Sometimes you buy books with the best of intentions, but then you don’t get around to reading them, and suddenly it’s ten-fifteen-twenty years later and you realize you never will. But one reader’s loss is another reader’s gain, and that’s what makes second-hand books such a treasure.

That, and amazing finds like this one. Now I want to see the movie again, too…

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