Shelf Treasure

If you’re a bibliophile like me you may have similar books. You cart them around as you move and they stay on your shelf, and maybe you plan to read them, but you haven’t yet. Maybe, like me, you’re not even sure where some of them came from.

In the case of Tevye’s Daughters, I THINK it might have joined the bookshelf when my wife’s book collection merged with my own, but she’s never read it, either. We like Fiddler on the Roof quite a lot, and the collection Tevye’s Daughters is the anthology from which the musical was drawn… and it’s also a slim book. And yet I haven’t read it. In part that’s because I’m usually suspicious of books alleged to be funny, because I’ve so often been disappointed. And then I’ve been reading fantasy, or science fiction, or swashbucklers, or private eye books, or westerns, or history books… but not literature, apart from Shakespeare plays, because I usually bounce off of it.

For thirty years, Tevye’s Daughters has remained, patiently waiting as the contents around it have grown and changed, been partly depleted and then replaced. Since that book has been in our collection my shelves have completely transformed until one entire case is given over to two categories I never owned before the last 8 years (and most of those changes have come in the last 2). Me, reading detective novels and westerns?

My kids are big fans of Fiddler on the Roof, and my son in particular loves Tevye. The other day I happened to look over and spot Tevye’s Daughters book spine on the shelf. I brought it out and mentioned it to my son. I’ve done this thing in the past with various books for both kids, and it has almost never worked. This time, though, presenting a shelf treasure excited interest, and my first born blazed through it, loving every minute of it, following me around and reading quotes from Tevye.

Looks like I’ll be following up his read with one of my own. It only took three decades. I wonder what other treasures are there?

Incidentally, the pictured cover isn’t the one from my own edition. I couldn’t find an image of it, and it’s been wonky taking pics lately, so I just used this one.

Anyone else out there have any interesting shelf treasures they unearthed after letting them sit for years?