Aug. 20th, 2010


Aug. 20th, 2010 01:55 pm
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While doing some cleaning this week (and what a week it's been, I cannot recommend cleaning highly enough as means of keeping the spirits up after being laid off) I came across a copy of Spevack's "The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare" that had been languishing in a back room. It is a rather large book. The spine is three inches thick and the cover is roughly fifteen by twelve inches. It's 1600 pages of everything in Shakespeare, more or less. As a reference work, it is a thing of beauty. If I had had this book in my teen years, I would have been delighted. (Oh, look. Five references to weasels.)

This week, I was ready to donate it to the local library book sale, until I opened the front cover and found that it had been a gift to my stepson from one of his high school teachers. Said child has since run away to Argentina to get married and won't be wanting it any time soon. But still, I can't quite just get rid of it. It still has a dust jacket and is in good condition. I can't tell if it's a first edition or from the second printing. Either one puts it at north of hundred dollars in value, and a first edition could fetch considerably more. And if he'd known that, he probably would have sold it rather than leave it behind. For now, it has found a shelf to live on until its owner retrieves it or a new owner is found.

But for all it's loveliness, I can't help thinking that this is exactly the sort of book that ought to be printed electronically. It practically begs for it. A properly formatted edition would be a great improvement over the paper in almost every way.

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