When I was little, I used to have a favorite book at my Nana's house. It was a green hardback, and it was crammed with fairy tales...but really original ones, ones from around the world that I'd never heard before.
I've been trying to find some of my older childhood books these days (yay Abebooks) and I thought I'd try to track down this particular one. I didn't remember much about it (the only story I remembered was about a trio of sisters who had one, two, and three eyes, respectively), but I thought I'd give it a shot. What the heck.
BAM. I get success on my very first Google hit for that story. The whole story was readable online, and most of the sources I found said that the story was part of a book called The Green Fairy Book
by Andrew Lang. That made some sense, since I remember that the book's cover was green. I also found a site that listed the other stories in the book, and a few of them did sound familiar.
So I started searching on Abebooks. And of course, I got a lot of hits for versions I didn't want, like cheap paperback copies with faux-antequated designs on the covers, or Tales From The Green Fairy Book
, which translates to We Couldn't Be Bothered To Put ALL The Stories You Liked In This Version
But in the process, I discovered something critical. Andrew Lang did not assemble just one Fairy Book. He assembled TWELVE. The Crimson Fairy Book, The Olive Fairy Book, The Blue Fairy Book,
and on and on.
Because the booksellers on Abebooks almost always just use the same stock photo for their book, rather than a photograph of the actual copy, I wandered over to eBay to see if I could find a copy that looked like the one I'd read. And I didn't, but OH MAN, YOU GUYS. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=200354307862
It is a 1902 printing of The Green Fairy Book
with a beautiful bitchin' dragon stamped on the cover.
WANT. WANT SO BAD.
I don't consider myself a collector of rare or antique books, but a book that I loved as a kid in a package as gorgeous as that? KRYPTONITE.