The Spirit Embodied Herein

One of the downsides to working at a bookstore, even merely part-time, is that it has largely robbed me of my zest for wandering around in bookstores, looking at new books, etc. It isn’t as fun when you already know what is coming out and when. I get excited for new nonfiction but, with only a handful of exceptions, I can’t bring myself to care about new fiction. Especially from new writers, who all seem to be largely the same person. Thanks academia. I’ll be dead before I can get through all the books I already have anyway.

I do like poking around in used bookstores, though. I like watching for out-of-print editions from the writers I like. I particularly love old mass market paperbacks. Like this awesome old edition of Jack Kerouac’s classic On the Road.

It’s another gem I scored for a measly $1. Inside the cover, which makes it even more of a score, is a quote and a dedication.

The book was clearly given as a gift or something, right? For clarification, it reads:

This book is the father of us all. Read it on planes, buses, & roadsides, for without the Spirit embodied herein, one can never really discover America. Love, Jenny   24 May 75

Forty-two years ago. Who was Jenny? Who was she giving this book to? Ah, the romance of the mystery. You’ll never get this kind of story of wonder from a stupid electronic book.

 

Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

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