I picked up a copy of The Garden of Eden by Hemingway from a pile of books at a yard sale today. I was grabbed by the cover art. I opened to read the sleeve and decided to take it home. There were some papers tucked inside the book. One was a voters registration card and the others were some pieces of paper with notes scribbled on them. I figured someone might be looking for this some day, so I handed the voters registration card to the lady running the sale. ”It must be her mom” she said, referring to another girl with stuff in the sale. Without thinking, I handed over the note as well. She read the note and asked what year the book was published, and said she might have to rethink selling the item because the note suggested it might be worth some money. ”1986,” I replied. The lady selling the book had just walked down the street, but this one wanted to run it by her first. Fine, I couldn’t say no so I went to the store and said I would come back to see what she said.
Book no longer for sale. Turns out it was a first edition.
First editions of this book are going for $500. This copy was probably worth about $200. It would have been mine for $2 if I didn’t give over the note.
Antiques Roadshow junkie fail.