...always a bookseller.
Hey, everyone, I still have it -- that amazing ability to find an obscure book when no title, author, or specific details about the book are known.
Did you know booksellers feel pride in finding that book? You know... "that blue book about women... no... I don't know the author or any more about the subject... my friend just told me to get it..."
I got really good at this when I worked at a bookstore here in town before I went on to the publishing world.
D has been wistful about a book from his childhood -- certainly out-of-print -- about a boy who builds a fort in the middle of nowhere. He couldn't tell me a lot about it. He just treasured it because it was about a smart boy who figured out how to create what he wanted.
I found it at Powell's yesterday: Andrew Henry's Meadow by Doris Burn. It was published 40-something years ago by a NW author, and a Seattle-based press recently re-issued it after it had been out-of-print a long time.
Now, why did I pick up this book out of the thousands and thousands of books in the children's section at Powell's? The cover shows a old-fashioned, black-and-white drawing of boy surveying the world around him from inside of a fort. That is D. That is what he still does. He finds a safe vantage point -- usually someplace he's created by himself with care -- and observes the world around him.
I flipped through it and thought, "This is the book... this is the book!" I couldn't wait for D to get home yesterday. I really wanted to have found the one he loved so much.
"Hey... look over on the counter there... see that book?"
"This is the book I've been talking about forever! How did you find it?"
And then I got to see him share it with E. Oh frabjous day!