Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dreams of Finding Rare Dick!

I frequently have dreams in which I shop: usually in thrift stores and record stores. This makes sense, since I do this often in life. Last night I dreamed, however, that I hit the motherlode.

Understand that it has become almost impossible to find something truly valuable at thrift stores. There was a time - before the internet made it very, very easy for anyone with access to a computer to research the value of things - that one would stumble across books and records that could fetch enormous collector's prices out there. I personally know people who found the Subhumans' "Death to the Sickoids" single at a thrift store, or the William Burroughs' Ace Double Novel version of Junkie. I myself have found rare early Agatha Christie, Dick Francis, and B. Traven editions, which I got very nice money for. (The Traven, a copy of the US first of The Rebellion of the Hanged, was the first book I ever bought to re-sell to an antiquarian, when I was a mere teenager. I found it at a Salvation Army in Maple Ridge, and had the good sense to phone MacLeod's books about it - even though I did not know the shop in the slightest at the time; I picked them out of the phone book! Don Stewart is a big admirer of Traven, so I found the right person; I believe he gave me $75 for the book, which I had paid some 50 cents for. I was quite proud of that transaction, remember the flourish with which I brought it out of my jacket, where I'd been sheltering it from the rain...).

Last night, in my dreams, I found a copy of Philip K. Dick's Dr. Bloodmoney: Or How We Got Along After the Bomb, signed by Dick, at a thrift store. It was a completely fictitious Dr. Bloodmoney; it was a hardcover first edition, for one, of a book I know quite well when I'm awake first came out in paperback. Besides that, while I know that Dr. Bloodmoney is a slim-to-average sized Dick, the book in the dream was much thicker, an enormous, Atlas-Shrugged-size tome. Why my dreams do this I do not know; being lazy about details is one thing, but getting things very notably wrong is another. Is my mind protecting me from the possibility of mistaking dreams for reality later, by falsifying recognizable details? Or perhaps it's a mere matter of sequencing: the thickness of the book was dreamed first, when I saw it on the shelf, and the title was added later? My dreaming mind went along with it, in any case. The signature on the book actually did resemble Dick's, which I've seen online...

Anyhow, the majority of the dream was spent trying to get the rare Dick safely from the thrift store to the bookdealer I deal with, without anyone catching on that I had a valuable book in my position and without it sustaining damage. There were other parts of the dream, but the excitement when I phoned the bookdealer I work with to let him know what I'd found was palpable. It was the most exciting book I have ever found in a dream!

I had other plans for the morning, but I think I had better go use the next while thrifting... 

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