03 October 2009

Treasure Hunt

This morning was the library book sale. Friends of the Library and volunteers fill the middle school gymnasium with long tables of books. There are bags and boxes of books under the tables and stacked along the walls. Where there are books, there are book people. And the books are cheap: fifty cents for a paperback, one dollar for a hardcover. Book people are treasure hunters. You never know what golden nuggets will turn up when you shove aside the James Patterson, Danielle Steele, and Tom Clancy duplicates. 'X' marked the spot for me today--I found one of those hopelessly nerdy items only a book nut like me can appreciate. In 1934, the Governor of California was The Honorable Frank F. Merriam, and one of his subordinates was George D. Nordenholt, the Director of the State Department of Natural Resources. Among Mr. Nordenholt's minions were the geologists of the State Division of Mines. One of them--Clarence A Logan--authored Bulletin No. 108 (1934), Mother Lode Gold Belt of California. I found this out-of-print gem jammed between a couple of oversize self-help manuals. The hardbound book--actually a report--is an overview of the mines and geology of California's famous Mother Lode. Richly illustrated, there are maps, inserts, and photographs detailing the economics, metallurgy, and history of the nation's most renowned gold-producing region. I spent much of the afternoon patching and taping the many tears in the pages and plates, but the bulk of the material is in good shape. I found a spot for it on my bookshelf right below Bulletin No. 193, Gold Districts of California (this 1963 report was revised and republished as a clothbound Sesquicentennial Edition in 1998), and right next to Bulletin No. 190, Geology of Northern California (1966). Like I said, stuff only a science geek could truly appreciate.

1 comment:

nancyo said...

Well done, Mark -- you are the kind of book sake buff who warms the cockles of my heart. Bill brought home a 41 volume set of the great books of the Western World, which was his find (he reads almost exclusively non-fiction, except for Dickens). Your find sounds like a real treasure (oops -- pardon the expression) and I am glad it is in your hands and on your bookshelf.