Bookmarks: they’re something I hadn’t thought of finding when I started going through Bob’s books. I guess I’ve always imagined that, unlike me, he finished everything he started, or maybe with his photographic memory he magically remembered what page he was on. Some of the markers I’ve found are common — advertisements, library inserts — and some are handwritten lists, a poignant reminder of our mortality that always stops me short, reminding me that the real reason I’m doing all this is that he’s not here to do it himself.
Some markers tell me what he was doing at the time. Here are some travel related ones that make it obvious. Trans World Airlines is gone now too, so these days we refer to this as “TWA memorabilia.”
Anybody remember mimeographed copies? This next one takes me straight back to grade school, when the teacher would hand out copies of something and the first thing we did was smell them.
As for the books themselves, here’s the inventive cover illustration of one I sold this week…Walter M. Miller is the author of A Canticle for Leibowitz (still on my for-sale shelf if you’re interested).I know if I had a new pair of boots, the first thing I’d do is put on my orange evening gown and (clutching my nearly naked boyfriend) go for a ride on a giant flying bug. What, wouldn’t you?
Especially if the bug had rockets on its butt! I wanted to find an attribution for this cover art. There was no listing inside the book, but Google led me to a great new discovery. Forget IMDB, who knew there was an ISFDB.org that lists all sorts of details about sci-fi lit? The site tells me: ‘Cover art not credited, but there is a truncated signature (“McA”) on the cover, which is assumed to stand for “Mara McAfee“.’ (b. 1929-d. 1984) And now that I know, I see she also worked in film and is listed in IMDB too. Let’s appreciate it in detail…As usual, I was sorry to let this go, but I have to think about how many books I still have listed and how long it’s going to take to sell them at the rate of 2-4 per week. Still, it’s worth it, even though now I’ll never know the story of the bug ride. I get a thrill every time I sell a book and know it’s going to someone who wants it.
But back to the bookmarks… I still have boxes of Bob’s books to go through, so who knows what I’ll find next. Bookmarks are one more thing we’re losing with the transition to e-readers. Until I make that switch, I’m going to start paying attention to my own bookmarks too. How about you?