Item #23* from my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is an early paperback edition of Jack Kerouac's On The Road. The provenance of this copy is likely that I bought it on eBay, but I don't remember for sure and I certainly don't remember when or how much I paid for it (although it was not cheap as I recall). As the copyright page indicates, this copy is a Signet publication dated 1955 & 1957 and is a tenth printing. I wish copyright pages indicated the printing date so one could establish how old an actual book is, but they leave that rather mysterious. Also mysterious -- to me, anyway -- is the two copyright years. There is a blurb on the copyright page detailing where certain sections of the novel already appeared (e.g., "The Mexican Girl" in Paris Review).
This copy is in okay shape. There is a stain and yellowing on the back cover and both covers' corners are worn. The front cover has a pen mark and some yellowing. The text itself is clean. The binding seems stable but fragile. Original price? 75 cents.
I like to think that this copy made its way around the U.S. at some point stuffed in some young bohemian traveler's canvas rucksack.
I can't imagine you are reading this blog and don't have at least one copy of On The Road (I own several, so stay tuned). As such, I will spare you the usual Amazon link. Besides, there's already a link over there on the right side of this blog.
Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (4th item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Jack Kerouac: On The Road: Text and Criticism edited by Scott Donaldson.
|Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf|
*See http://thedailybeatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/kerouac-krishnamurti-burroughs-and.html for the Beat connection to this mystical number.