It will surprise none of you to know that I have a prized collection of classic science fiction books. Many of these books I inherited from older siblings. But most of the valuable ones I acquired myself. And when I say “valuable”, I certainly don’t mean in the monetary sense. None of these masterpieces is in pristine condition. And the only signed copy I have is of a later printing of “A Gift From Earth“, by Larry Niven.
Mind you, I can’t find that copy at the moment because my collection, such as it is, is scattered across various corners of my parents’ house in Toronto, interspersed amongst grade 9 grammar tests and summer science experiments from decades past. I was, however, able to locate three other copies of “A Gift From Earth”, including this one from 1968:
Another of my prized Asimov possessions is this 1957 edition of “Pebble In The Sky“, which was the first book that I (unintentionally) read twice:
Most curious, though, is an item I found at the back of a closet, this 1962 exercise book put out by the Royal Canadian Air Force:
I was immediately informed by people on social media that this RCAF book is actually a beloved classic. Someone on Facebook even sent me this story, about how actress Helen Mirren uses this same book to stay in shape!
What’s the lesson here? I dunno. All I know is that I love reading books on my tablets and e-readers. But I also love that I have access to this rich history of SF’s golden age, right there in my closet.