Today, Aunt Sissy took all of us kids (that would be me and my 3 cousins) to this big antique store that’s on the highway that has the Country Crock Cracker Barrel restaurant (or something like that) on it. The antique store was really big on the outside, but when we went inside it was even bigger with lots and lots of old-fashioned stuff inside it all over the place.
Before we even went inside the store, Aunt Sissy told us that if any of us touched anything and it broke, there was going to be serious trouble when Uncle Bob came home. I wasn’t sure why the trouble was going to start with Uncle Bob (I didn’t even know what the trouble was Aunt Sissy was talking about) but I figured it probably had something to do with not being good listeners or something like that.
Anyway, I asked Aunt Sissy if I could stay in one spot where there were so many old books, and she said, ‘Yes. Just don’t make trouble.” That mixed me up a little bit. I’ve been around books before (I even have a lot of them in my bedroom at home, and my mom has way more all over our house) and trouble never broke out before. Maybe something happens in Sevierville that makes books and kids like me get into trouble.
So I promised I was going to be a good girl, and then when she kept on looking with my cousins, I was extra-special careful looking at the books.
The books were old-fashioned books, and I remembered what Roy said about American Picking books. One of the important things you have to do is make sure that if the book has a hard cover, that it’s not broken anywhere or dented up really badly. That’s the first part. Then you have to make sure the pages inside are good, too, because if some pages got ripped up or got missing some way, the book is not a good book to ask to buy.
If the book has a good cover and good insides, then you have to do the next thing and that’s to look at what the book is about. Sometimes that’s even more important than the good cover and the good insides. And sometimes the person that wrote the book is the most important part of buying a very old book.
So I found a book I liked, and it had a good cover and it had all the pages with no pages missing. The lady who wrote it had a pretty name: Myra King. I don’t know if she’s famous, but even if she isn’t, I still like her name. And the book is called, “Language Games.” I like that name, too, and I liked the games the lady put in her book. I think maybe I can get my cousins to play some of them with me when we go back to Aunt Sissy’s place.
But I’m forgetting to tell you about the next part of American Picking books that matters. If the book is really old, you can find out how old on the inside. There’s a word you look for and that word is copyright. Right beside that word is where you get to find out when the book got published, and you always go with the year that is the last one in the list if there’s more than one year there. The Myra King book had two copyrights in it: One for 1908 and one for 1909.
And guess what else was inside the book? There was the Introduction and it got written by the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Los Angeles, California. I think that’s pretty good because I think that means the book was so important back in the olden days that the people running all the schools said, “Hey, this is a very important book. We better get something in that book that says we think it’s very important.”
When my Aunt Sissy came back to get me, I showed her the book and asked her if she could help me buy it. I showed her that I had my own money, and she said she would help me get it. So I gave her some of my dollar bills and she got it bought for me, and gave it to me in a little brown paper bag so it wouldn’t get wrecked by my cousins.
I’m going to be extra special careful of this book, and when I go home, I’m going to ask Aaron to help me find out all about Myra King. I’ll bet he can find out lots on the Internet all about her and the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Los Angeles, California.
And I hope that my cousins didn’t do anything that’s going to make my Uncle Bob come home with trouble. That wouldn’t be good, and I would be very sad and upset.