Thursday, March 6, 2008

Staying Humble is Easy

As I've noted in my brief bio, some years ago I wrote a book about train travel. It was (and still is) called All Aboard! The Complete North American Train Travel Guide.

The first edition came out in 1995 and a second one followed three years later. The book sold reasonably well – something over 20,000 copies total. A few weeks after the first edition came out, my agent, Sheree Bykofsky, excitedly reported that the book had been given a very good review by a magazine that went to the nation’s librarians. She said that meant libraries all over the country would order copies. And indeed they did.

The book is no longer in print, but a few copies are still available through Amazon and other dealers in new and used books.

Friends and acquaintances occasionally say they would like to have an autographed copy, but I’ve long since given away all those originally provided to me by the publisher. So a few months back, I ordered a half a dozen to have on hand for that purpose.

Turns out they were all library copies of the first edition, which had subsequently been replaced when the second edition came out.

And each copy had a large rubber stamp smack in the middle of the title page:

DISCARDED BY
THE TACOMA
PUBLIC LIBRARY


That pretty much took any luster off the “presentation ceremonies” whenever I gave one away.

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