In 2004 in Corsica, I purchased Granite Island by Dorothy Carrington. On my return I realised that the book was already out of print and copies in the UK were valued around £144. This angered me and made me want to subvert what I regarded as theft. At this price, the book had ceased to be a book and Dorothy Carrington’s words would hardly be read again. Over the next years I managed to purchase a succession of copies costing less than £5 each, feeling joy for rescuing them yet guilt for stealing them from owners unaware of their true value.
Contrary to my intentions, I kept all the copies for myself and dispersed them amongst my bookshelf in case people thought me odd. I bought one copy from Oxfam in Headingley. Unlike the others it was not ‘like new’ so I gave it to a man called Phil who I knew admired the Island. In 2017 I realised that the book was back in print. Suddenly all the books in my collection lost their value.
I now rescue unwanted copies with no value and home them, dispersing them amongst my bookshelf in case people think I am odd. Here is a rare sighting.