This time, I was looking for some books on Alaska and the Yukon. Sneaky me, thinking I can kill two birds with one stone by writing a report on the Klondike Gold Rush for my American West class whilst at the same time working on some kick A tour material for this summer. Anyways, after crossing miles and miles of library ground, I end up at the books-of-interest-to-me section.
Now, who here had heard of the Klondike Gold Rush before I went up to the land of nordicity (a new word I found on a book at the library! fancy huh?)? Yea it's pretty much a not very popular subject. But not for me! I struck it rich in the Alaska Gold books section!
First, most books on this subject are generally written by folks who were there or who had family up there, causing these books to date back quite a ways. The books are often written by the mother in law of so and so (as one book I selected was) Second, these books are mostly out of print, so the books I found, happened to be original editions of the books. Yes, dating from as early as 1906. One book hadn't been checked out since 1956. Probably when people actually knew who Soapy Smith was.
I know it's a bad photo, but this is the book that hadn't been checked out since 1956.
Not only that, but I happened across a small book of Skagway photography. In Skagway, the name Martin Itjen is pretty well known. He was the one who revived the town's economy by encouraging tourism. Skagway would not be alive today without his help. The Skagway Street Car Company, which he started, is still in operation. Anyways, I found a book written by him and what do you know? It had his original signature in the front page! How much do you think the library would charge if I just conveniently "lost" the book? ;)
Martin Itjen's signature. Yes, it's backwards. :)
A lot of the books are falling apart, their pages frayed and brown from age. It is a weird feeling to be holding books that are as old as these.
As excited as I am to have these books in my possession, the library depresses me every time I go there. Endless rows of books are cast before me, and I know I'll never read 1% of them. I saw a book on Edmonton, and was like "Ooh I want to read that!" I'm like wait a minute, since when did I care about Edmonton? But honestly, I will never read that book. That's why libraries are depressing. Well, at least I have the juvenile section pretty much down pat.