Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tom Sawyer in Tokyo, via Karachi

Hiya bibliophiles,

I bought an old, red, hardback copy of Tom Sawyer in Jimbocho, the famous used book district of Tokyo, and have been reading it to my nine-year-old daughter. (To my intense delight, she begs me not to stop reading.)

It's undated, and unillustrated, and includes a few typographic mistakes or omissions (such as saying, "See the next page" for some illustration which doesn't exist).

Mine appears to use the same chapter headings as the Random edition, according to Mark West. It does not, btw, say "complete and unabridged" anywhere, but it certainly feels complete.

My guess, based on the age and condition, is that it was printed in the 1920s or 30s. Here's the title page:

It also includes an embossed seal, which I'm guessing is a bookseller's:

Pan-American Commercial, Inc.
Elphinstone Street

According to Wikipedia, the name of Elphinstone Street was changed to Zaibunnisa Street in 1970, so presumably my copy passed through Pakistan in the 1960s or earlier, before coming to Japan. Quite a trek for a book.

Thought you would enjoy the tale.

(Yes, I tinkered with the lighting on the second image using Gimp. Apologies for the generally poor image quality; those were taken hand-held in low light. The camera and lens are fine, but I didn't have a tripod available last night, and didn't mess with the in-camera choice of lighting adjustment.)


At 11:39 PM, Blogger Our Man in Abiko said...

Nice to see your Tom Sawyer copy. I have located my copy of Treasure Island if you think Sophia would enjoy it. My copy is hardback and dates back to the 1950s at least, I am guessing, there is no copyright info but intriguingly a previous owner, Daniel Charles Sherriff, has penned his name. No idea who he is, but with two r's and f's, he must be related to me.

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Our Man in Abiko said...

Oh, just found two more books she might like - modern hardbacks, but nicely illustrated - The House at Pooh Corner and Alice in Wonderland.


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