The book tale


Austin Phelps was a nineteenth century
American Congregational minister, educator,
and textbook author. I know of him because
of the one quote he is famous for.

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”

And even in the modern age of instant
access to online facts, I turn to a book
for information and pleasure.

I do this, even with older books, thinking
that if nobody has disputed what was
written then it must be true.

Recently a friend emailed about a book he
had reread and liked. At first mention I
didn’t believe I knew the book.

But it sent me on a quest looking through
our bookcases, nooks, crannies, and stored
boxes to see if I had a copy.

I was told the book was out print and I
admit to being surprised on more than one
level when I found it.

My first surprise is that I found the
the book in question amid my collection.

Another surprise was that my copy was a
first edition.

Then I noticed that the Pyramid Books
paperback from 1965 sold for the princely
sum of fifty cents!

And finally, when I saw the yellow Mercer
on the cover I knew I had read the book and
had enjoyed it.

So I read “A Worm In The Ear” by Peter
Lewis again after a several decade rest.

It took me back to my mid-teens when I
was lusting after a coffin-nosed Cord.

As we’ve said, we believe a good story
can paint a picture and this one did so
and then some.
Comments are always welcome.


2 Responses to The book tale

  1. Dale Gilmour says:

    I also have that book. In a nutshell, it’s about a kid who lives on Harrison Street (not mentioned). He refers to the Outing club (by name), St. Paul’s Lutheran church, and Vander Veer park, (not by name). It is really a good book. He and his grandfather restore an old car, and the president of the bank (V.O.Figge) tries to buy it from him. The relationship he shares with his grandfather is priceless. If you have lived in Davenport at least 50 years, you will truly enjoy it, and recognize the references. If anyone would like to borrow mine, it’s available, but I DO want it back!

  2. cruisin2 says:

    Dale Gilmour,
    it is quite the tale. Only the names have been changed…

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