Monday, May 4, 2015

Siam Scarlett

I can't believe I forgot to mention this last week, but while in Thailand, I had a run-in with one of the list books. It wasn't until we were going through our photos last night that I remembered...

As I've mentioned many times before, I always enjoying perusing a bookshelf. It could be in somebody's home, at a hotel, in a library, or in a bookstore; it doesn't really matter, I just like walking my eyes over the spines of books. I suppose the fun is that you might come across something unique or something you've never heard of, and it just might take your reading in a new direction.

After having spent over five years reading through this list, I'm still little amazed how often I come across these titles. Of course it shouldn't really come as any surprise, after all they are 100 "all-time novels."

The first time I remember stumbling across one of the 100 titles, was while attending a wedding in Markdale, Ontario. The tiny ten-room guesthouse we stayed at had a small library, and one of the books on their shelf was Falconer, by John Cheever, and my 22nd book from the list. I promptly stole that book from their shelf and began reading it when I returned to Calgary (for the record, I did mail it back to them, and included an old Robert Ludlum book I had on my shelf, as I wrote in this post).

Every time I visit New York, I'm always sure to visit The Strand Bookstore. Not only can I find the books my library does not have, I also usually stumble across something pretty neat. A couple years ago, they had a first-edition One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest available for only $2200.

As Aventuras de Augie March
And last year, while walking the aisles of Livaria Cultura, a massive bookstore in Sao Paulo, I was able to find my current read at the time, The Adventures of Augie March, but in Portuguese of course.

Perhaps most special to me though, because I loved the book so much, was when I saw a signed, first-edition of Gone With the Wind, in an antique shop in New Orleans. The shop was closed at the time, so I was only able to admire it though the window, and have no idea how much something would go for; but I'm sure I would have been tempted to buy it.

Which leads to my most recent run-in with a list book, while in Bangkok, last month. The hotel we stayed at our final two nights in Thailand, had an antique book display in the lobby, which we actually passed several times, before taking a look at (I believe there was always an urgency to get up to our room, which seems to happen a lot in Thailand!).

But when we finally did stop to take a peek, imagine my surprise and delight to discover, two vintage copies of Gone With the Wind, in Thai! And they were both movie tie-in editions, which I normally loathe, but were neat to see in Thai; I don't think I've ever seen a movie tie-in edition in English. Even more unique was that the one in the top left features a photo of Scarlett and Ashley, which...makes no sense whatsoever. How could a movie tie-in edition not feature Rhett Butler, one of the silver screen's most famous characters?

What I would have done to have one of those copies find their way to my bookshelf at home!

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