Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Updike Luck

Those who read this screed with any regularity
are already acquainted with my love of John Updike,
who, besides just possessing my esteemed enamorment,
has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction not once but twice.
The day before yesterday I just happened to drop by the Half-Price Books
in my town, where I, on a whim, thought some new Updike might just be the thing.
So I picked this up.


Note its price: $4.98.


Well, the day went on, I continued shopping, visited with friends, and was waiting for my Independence Day Freedom Potato Salad spuds to finish boiling when I thought I might read a story or three while I was waiting. After all, there were 40 of them.


Oh, look at that, an inscription in a used book.

Let's see whose Great Aunt Margot gave this to them on which holiday...


Well, I'll declare.

That there says,

"for Mark

a rare volume

John Updike"


Being me, my first thought at any awesome event such as this is, "Nuh UH."

So of course I went and checked here and there on the Interweb to convince myself, and it seems to be authentic, and selling for anywhere from $59.00 to $899.00 depending on what it emblazons.

Now I suppose I could sell it and make a little soon-spent cash, but I think instead I might frame it and hang it on my office wall as a reminder of how the random regularity of the universe, in its oddly delightful way, is indeed looking out for little old me.

15 comments:

Dr. T said...

Very cool. I love halfprice books for that very reason. Guess what I found there? Kazantzakis' epic poem "The Odyssey, A Modern Sequel," which is out of print and I could not find anywhere on the web. It is the only English translation of the poem, of which only 300 copies were printed in the original Greek. Kazantzakis, btw, also wrote "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Zorba the Greek"

Ari said...

Well, congrats to you too, Dr. T! Been meaning to read TLTOC for awhile now.

Loved the movie (as recommended by Kevin Smith).

Helga von porno said...

I suggest reading the forty tales very carefully for signs and instructions.

defiant goddess said...

That. Is. Awesome.

I don't know what I'd do if I bought a KR movie and he'd autographed it. I wouldn't care so much about the autograph but that I was touching something he touched. :)

Ari said...

I will, Helga. I will.

That is exactly the thought I had, Renee. :)

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

That's wonderful.

Hey, the same thing happened to me.

I have an autographed copy of Dr. Lawrence Peter's "The Peter Perscription."

I bought it used at a bookstore and discovered it later.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

make that "prescription

Ari said...

Ok, I had to go look that up to see if you were for real, LBB, and I found this:

In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.

That almost sounds like something you wrote. :)

Azathoth said...

Nothing like a rare find to make one feel special. Treasure it, and always remember that chaos isn't always a bad thing.

I have had 2 things like that happen. The first was buying a softcover Stephen King book "The Stand" from a tag sale, only to discover that it was a copy from the Bangor Maine Library and had a hand written dedication to that library from Steve himself inside (Still had the Library card holder inside too).
The other was a 3 set VHS collection of the origional Star Wars movies, signed to somone named Jeff (Which is my name) by both the actor who played Chewbacca (my favorite cause I look like him) and the actor who played Boba Fett.

Violet said...

Very cool story... I would hang onto the book, too. I've never read any Updike, but I'll have to check him out on your recommendation.

Dr. T said...

I do have a personally signed copy of "THe Ice Storm," by Rick Moody though.

Amandarama said...

Damn! That's cool. I got Mr. Scoop a Rolling Stone that had been autographed by Sam Kinison and that was a trifle on the pricey side. Unexpected autographs are the best!

Ari said...

Hey, Aza, I've been in the same room with Peter Mayhew at least 3 or 4 times. :) Never met him exactly, though.

Thanks, Violet. Get ready for some nonpolitically correct cleverness that makes the mundane so much more. (tm)

GFY, Dr. T.

Hmm, that makes me wonder how much Sam Kinison's sig goes for, Amanda. I do know his stuff gets better as I age (and get more bitter, possibly).

Gary said...

Looks real to me. You are luckier than I am. About all I ever find is a penny on the ground.

Ari said...

Well, maybe you'll find a good flower seed to plant somewhere next time, Gary. :)

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