Yesterday I was working on "the paper" and needed to know when Hemingway's first book was published, so I looked it up in our giant university's ridiculously large library. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the online catalog was telling me that the copy they had in the stacks was a first edition- #130 of 170 limited copies.
This book in decent shape will bring over $50,000. And my university has it sitting on a random shelf in the deteriorating stacks? Really? I didn't quite believe it. Surely, if nothing else it would be "Not found on shelf" by now.
Never mind that it's worth even more than my student loan debt. There are--at most-- 170 copies available anywhere in the world. And it's an important book: edited by Ezra Pound, printed by the Three Mountains press on fancy-shmancy paper and probably with hand-set type. This is the sort of thing that is usually only found in the rare books room--that stuffy little reading room where you have to be careful not to bend the pages too much.
But it turns out that they have it. It's sitting at the main circulation desk waiting for me to come pick it up. And bring it home? Really? There's no way. Is there??