August 3, 2014

A Quest Completed

I had another post written, but it can wait. I found my Holy Grail today. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Something elusive that I’ve been searching for since I moved back to the States eight years ago. The nes plus ultra of my years of hunting.

It all started quietly with a mid-afternoon visit to the Book Thing, Baltimore’s free book place. I had cleared out some books I hadn’t read, and that I decided I really wasn’t interested in reading. As I wandered back to the biography section, I do what I always do… sort of glaze my eyes over and scan the bookshelves to see if anything grabs my attention. My eyes are searching for a particular pattern – a shape and style that they’ll instantly lock on. Secondarily to that, they’re also searching for another pattern. Sort of like a lion searching for, say, a zebra or a giraffe on the veld. Zebra_Giraffe

There, on the top shelf, with perhaps a little glow to it, sat my elusive quarry. It was a little faded, so I had to take a second glance. And when I saw what it was, I let out a gasp and an exclamation, loudly enough, apparently, that the man down the aisle asked if I was okay. IMG_1983

That’s right… It’s the rare giraffe edition of Osa Johnson’s Four Years in Paradise. And it’s a first edition!IMG_1985

This book revolves around the four years Osa Johnson and her husband, Martin, spent on a lake in Africa, which they named Lake Paradise.

Osa’s subsequent book, I Married Adventure, is the more well-known and available of the two books. IMG_1984In fact, I’ve probably found five or six copies over the years, and have given them away, here on the blog. You can frequently spot it in design and decorating blogs, as it makes a very attractive addition to any tablescape or bookshelf. Here are some images I found in a quick Google search.

Dionne Design… don’t much care for the chain across the book, and its implications. image

From Domino. You really have to hunt for this one.image

Lisa Dreissigimage

From a hilarious article in the New York Times: You Are What You Stack.image

Lonny, Issue No. 1image

From way back in 2007 on Style Court. I still love this image. image

My clever friend, Jane, over at Empress of the Eye, made a pillow out of the image

I would be remiss not to mention Kate Spade’s take on the book in clutch, iPhone and iPad covers. image

Oh, look! It’s the book case from my old house, found on Pinterest!image

I was really thrilled to find Four Years in Paradise, and regardless of what the New York Times says, it will have a special place on my bookshelves. Oh, if you want your own copy of Four Years, be prepared to shell out some big money. I’ve seen it anywhere from $400 to $900! imageOr you could just buy the perfume collection!

30 comments:

  1. OMG OMG OMG Book Thing ----FREE ----did u say Free???? good grief --- the Holy Grail -------there is a God!!! Karma WGACA what goes around yada yada Now it is our turn right I hope...........

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    1. FREE! It's a good thing, as Martha says.

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  2. Nobody deserves it more!! Great find! Soooo excited for you. Now if you can only start finding prattware seashell pitchers etc for me haha.xo andrea

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  3. Don't you love it when that happens?!! I'll bet you are happier than a pig in "you know what". That's wonderful!

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  4. But now whats the next book on your list to find? ha

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    1. I don't know... i will have to think about that one!

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  5. I say yes: good Karma. BTW Osa Johnson and her husband Martin have a museum in Chanute, Kansas (her hometown). I've never been there. Must put it on my bucket list. The NYT article was funny. True and very funny.

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    1. I have read about the museum. I guess they were both from there.

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  6. Gifts from Heaven are always the best. I understand exactly what you mean by "glow". Congratulations and blessing!
    Mary

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    1. A slight glow, as the spine was a bit faded!

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  7. Meg I wish someone had been filming you when you found this coveted book!
    So very exciting and for sure whoever brought it in had no idea of what they had!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Featuring Artist John Matthew Moore
    The Arts by Karena

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  8. wow, happy for you + it is the little things that bring us so much pleasure. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  9. Gotta love those freebie treasures!!

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  10. Congrats on the find!! Looks beautiful and I would like to get one just to read it too...

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  11. What great luck you had. I love The Book Thing. It's one of my favorite places in Baltimore.

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    1. Go back! you almost always find something great!

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  12. Amazing! Free...I can't believe it! Hooray for a wonderful find!

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  13. Doing the happy dance for you! Congrats!!!!!

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