Monday, August 15, 2011

sometimes you should judge a book by its cover.

In an old, secondhand bookshop called "John's Books," I found myself talking to whom I assumed to be John. He sat at the back of the store - which was about 20 square feet - behind a desk stacked with papers and old books.
 He asked me where I was from, and we had a conversation about California, the one state he's been. He asked me what I was doing here and for how long, and after explaining for a bit, he told me that he admired my faith. He was a pantheist, but he admired my faith. "Almost to the point where I might say I envy it."
I would've told him that he could have the very faith he envies, but he stood up, walked over to a shelf, and pulled off a book. He said "Who wrote Jane Eyre?" Good thing I'm super smart and knew the answer (okay, let's be honest, I just saw the movie). So I said "Charlotte Bronte." And he showed me a very old copy of the book. But it was written by Currer Bell. Good thing I'm super smart and didn't pick up on what that meant.
"The initials. Notice that they're the same. This book was published before women's writing was considered equal with men's."
"How much is that worth?"

He smiled, put it back, and pulled another one off the shelf.
"Sometimes, it's not the content of the book, but the binding."

He pointed out various marks on the leather that matched a family seal on the inside, meaning the binding was done by a wealthy family. Impressive. But not as impressive as secrets! He laid the book in his hand, so the front and back cover lied flat, and he held the pages of the book up with his thumb and index finger. Instead of gold leaf, like a gold leaf Bible or something, it looked a little tye-dyed. (This is hard to explain so I'll use pictures.)

He pushed the pages so they spread a bit,
and I gasped. It was like being a part of the Da Vinci Code. All of a sudden, it was a scene. A landscape of a field with a house and trees. Hand painted.
"How much is that worth?"
"3,500 Euros" ($5,000)

And that, is reason #467 that I love Ireland.


Kev said...

This nearly gave me goosebumps. Good show. :P

mom said...

incredible!! you are a great writer. It did give me goosebumps!!!

Jan Clayton said...

You will be able to write a book by the time you come home. Love your blogs and pictures.