Artist Kelly Sims, 27, saw an original copy of the book Life on the Mississippi by the iconic author Mark Twain in a thrift store
An artist has discovered a first edition of Mark Twain with a value of more than $ 3,000 in a thrift store – for $ 5.
Kelly Sims saw an original copy of the iconic book by the author Life on the Mississippi stick out of the bookshelf.
The illustrated book was first printed in 1883 – and the 27-year-old was surprised to see it was a first edition.
Some initial editions of this book can raise nearly $ 3,500 depending on the state.
And original copies of Twain’s most famous work – the adventures of Huckleberry Finn – can be sold for more than $ 6,500.
That book is often called the great American novel and Twain is often mentioned as the father of American literature.
Kelly, however, explained to DailyMailTV that she would not sell it at any price.
She said: ‘The value of the book is an interesting debate, but it ultimately has no consequences. It is priceless for me because of his age and my joy to discover it. ”
The illustrated book was first printed in 1883 and some initial editions of this book can raise nearly $ 3,500 depending on the state
Some initial editions of this book can raise nearly $ 3,500 depending on the state. This was worth around $ 3,000
The book is a history of the Mississippi River, along with semi-autobiographical stories of Twain adventures on a steamboat
Kelly looked through the bookshelves of a thrift store when she discovered it.
“This old battered book struck me because it looked like it fell from a pirate ship,” she said.
‘When I first picked up the book, I was particularly fascinated by its age and appearance. The pages were broken off like dry leaves at the edges, the back was loose, but the weight of the book was nice in my hands.
Mark Twain, real name Samuel Clemens, is praised as the ‘father of American literature’
“The cover had the feel of a book from an old library.”
Kelly, however, had no idea of the meaning of the book until she turned it over.
“I finally read the cover and my heart skipped – Mark Twain,” she exclaimed.
“Who doesn’t know Mark Twain,” I thought. “
Fortunately, Kelly’s father collects books from the first edition, so she was well versed in verifying them.
“When I carefully browsed through the aging pages and found that the date corresponded to the first edition, I almost dropped the book,” she said.
Kelly bought the book from the thrift store on Whidbey Island, Washington.
She continued: “I almost jumped out of my excitement when I bought it.
“The woman who accepted my five dollar bill certainly took it slowly and with a dragging glance at the book, wondering what she had missed.”
The book is a history of the Mississippi River, along with semi-autobiographical stories about Twain adventures on a steamboat.
The most famous novels of Twain, the adventures of Tom Sawyer and the adventures of Huckleberry Finn, take place along the iconic river.
And although Mark Twain is not the favorite author of Kelly, she can appreciate the history of the book.
“What the book really meant to me was a sense of discovery and history,” she said. “Whose hands have touched these pages over the course of 137 years?
‘Who was the person who signed the pages with that sweeping, beautiful handwriting, executed with a fountain pen?
Kelly explained that she would not sell it at any price because it is “priceless for me because of his age and my pleasure in discovering it”
‘Was it a gift for his beloved, daughter, mother?
“The book has a sense of mystery and contains memories that it will never share.”
Kelly, who lives in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, has restored the backbone – but she thinks the value will be less than the first editions that are kept in perfect condition.
“A few lists have been sent to me with the book posted at more than $ 3,000,” she said.
‘However, those first editions are in perfect condition.
“Those books practiced and drank water and took vitamins for most of a century.
‘My book has washed away cigarettes with whiskey and has been in bar fights every night since printing.
“The back was so damaged when I bought it, it had to be reconstructed professionally.
“I would be lucky to get $ 300 for it. Maybe if I found an avid collector, even more.
“That’s not bad, since I bought the book for five dollars.”