Buried Treasure

Tonight while rummaging around on the dirty, unkempt bookshelves of a local Salvation Army I came across the sort of thing one always dreams about coming across in these situations but rarely does. What I found was a first-edition copy of the first novel of my favorite novelist, A Piece of My Heart by Richard Ford. The book cover isn’t much to look at (see the picture below), and the spine is a little warped, but hey, one doesn’t complain about these things at the Salvation Army, where books are usually priced under a dollar. The book isn’t worth much; similar first editions start at $30 at Abebooks.com (but go up significantly and sharply after that. There’s also a signed copy at the Manhattan Rare Book Company that’s going for $800). Nevertheless it’s a very exciting find for a fan. They ain’t many of these floating around anymore.

Needless to say, I put a temporary but brief hiatus on the book-buying moratorium.



6 comments so far

  1. RCochran on

    What were you doing rummaging around some unkempt bookshelves? Hm? Alcoholics are told to never go into a bar.

  2. jeffreimer on

    You’re not the boss of me, Cochran!

  3. Tim Cairns on


    How is that book buying moratorium going?

  4. Tim Cairns on

    should have read the whole post!!!!!

  5. jeffreimer on

    I know this is all in good fun, but I want to clarify for anybody still wondering: the book-buying moratorium is still serving its purpose perfectly well. The purpose was never primarily to simply cease buying books; it wasn’t even to save money (though Jess was relieved and excited to hear of it for the first time). No, the purpose was always to give my reading habits purpose and direction. The Richard Ford novel is in fact the fifth or sixth book I have acquired since instituting the moratorium, though I will point out that it is the first book I have paid money for. So, all you naysayers, and there have been many, I feel no sting of regret nor any kind of moral failing. I am still fulfilling the spirit of the law, and that is all I need to keep myself content.

  6. RCochran on

    Admitting you have a problem is the first step, Jeff.

    I found these 12 steps helpful.

    1. We admitted we were powerless over book buying—that our lives had become unmanageable.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became
    willing to make amends to them all.

    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.

    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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