July 28, 2011

I was pottering around a little second hand bookstore recently and I spotted a Bookano book; inside the front cover it looked like the price was £55. Couldn't be, because it was in terrible condition. I asked the owner. Oh yes, he said, these are very desirable collectors items. Oh wow, I've got one in the attic I enthused, and it's in very good condition. Lucky you he said, rather dryly I thought.

The book in question had been my Uncle's and I had a hazy recollection of being given it when I might have been four or five (long, long time ago...) and I also had a vague recollection that I might have added to the illustrations with a few pencil marks, nevertheless I located it in the attic fully expecting it to be worth a small fortune, or £75 at least.

How wrong could I be. What was I thinking of, what were my parents, grandparents, uncle thinking of when they let me deface this precious book - Good grief people - this book could have been worth MONEY! The surprising thing is that my parents were very strict, I just can't imagine what happened here, maybe my uncle was babysitting and thought "what the hell, go draw all over this old book and give me some peace".

Not only did I draw (scribble) all over it but it gives a scary little insight into my 4/5 year old brain at the time. I must have been an incredibly modest child because it looks like I took total umbrage at all the nudity contained in the pages, I obviously couldn't cope with mermaids without bikini tops or ladies lolling about starkers with a creepy man ogling them from the bushes - and quite right too, there's nothing worse than creepy men lurking in the shrubs when you want to get naked. Paradoxically, I thought it OK to draw lipstick and earings on some guy patting his dog, in fact nearly all the guys got some biro lippy, the Vikings on the front cover look hysterical and the dog guy is creepy even without the lipstick, and what's that going on at the dog's rear end? Should I have been seeing a psychologist or what?

The good news is that the pop ups are in pretty good condition, and I'm quite normal now so all is not lost. This Bookano book is sadly not going to make me a fortune so I'll just hang on to it, but if you find one of these babies in a junk store or charity shop then snap it up, but remember it's got to be in reasonable condition, not one that some crazy child  has drawn all over!

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