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Printed Page Bookshop
Cool books, Warm people                                                                January 2016
This month's puzzler

On December 30, 1865, this man was born to English parents stationed in Bombay, India.  As was the custom in British India, he and his three-year-old sister were taken to England to live with a couple who boarded children of British nationals who were serving in India.  
In his autobiography published some 65 years later, our mystery man recalled the stay with horror and wondered if the combination of cruelty and neglect that he experienced at the hands of the couple might not have hastened the onset of his literary life.  "If you cross-examine a child of seven or eight on his day's doings (expecially when he wants to go to sleep) he will contradict himself very satisfactorily.  If each contradiction be set down as a lie and retold at breakfast, life is not easy.  I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture -- religious as well as scientific.  Yet it made me give attention to the lies I soon found it necessary to tell:  and this, I presume, is the foundation of literary effort." 

He returned to India at age 17 to pursue a career in journalism and writing.  His many poems, novels, and children's tales were largely inspired by his life in India.  He is the author of a 1910 poem that was translated into almost every human language and was named by the Guinness World Record people as "The Most Successful Poem" in history.

He received the Nobel Prize in 1907 and was the first English-language writer to be so honored. He remains (at age 42) the youngest to be awarded the literature prize.

Who was this man, and what was the name of his poem?

(Answers below)

Seems like 
old tomes

If you want to start an argument among booksellers -- and who doesn't? -- mention the word "facsimilie."  Facsimilies are reproductioins of books (or dust jackets) that are made to look and feel like first editions of collectible, desirable, or valuable books, yet with much lower price tags. Some booksellers see nothing wrong with facsimlies -- so long as they are clearly identified as facsimiilies -- while others regard them with the same contempt that they have for something they got on the bottom of their shoe.
We're among the group that thinks there's nothing wrong with facsimilies. They can be an affordable substitute for a first edition that is beyond your financial reach (like the copies of Tom Sawyer, The Great Gatsby and Of Mice and Men pictured above), or a dust jacket that is beyond repair, or missing altogether (replaced above on the first edition of The Yearling).   Facsimilies that are created to deceive are another matter:  One story is that the British Museum itself was fooled by a carefully produced facsimilie of The Compleat Angler.   Even experts can be fooled sometimes.  Every ethical bookseller and every ethical publisher will clearly mark a facsimilie as a facsimilie -- such as the facsimilies above, which were produced by the First Edition Library, and the dust jacket, which was produced by a vendor in San Francisco.  (We can provide contact information if you want it.)
According to John Carter in "ABC for Book Collectors," the most common and most deceptive kind of facsimilie is one supplied to make an imperfect book better -- maybe a leaf or two or part of a torn page.  If such a step takes the form of the same edition, that's a good thing, for no one would prefer an imperfect copy of a book.  Many collectors, faced with the choice in a very early or a very rare book, would agree.  The alteration must be disclosed, though -- and problems can arise when the book passes from one owner to the next.  In our experience, these kinds of things are few and far between.
But for the bibliophile who can't afford a first of Gatsby ($70,000?  More?), a facsimilie for $100 might be a good substitute.  And if you spill coffee on the substitute, you're less likely to have a heart attack.

We could use your help with Yelp...
It's worth your choice of 10% off your next purchase, or five archival dust jacket covers

Once upon a time, people used to find businesses by using thick, yellow-paged books.  Now they use Yelp, and they pay a lot of attention to what others have to say about a business in customers' reviews.  The more reviews a business gets, the more likely customers are to find it. So we're asking a favor:  Write a short review  of Printed Page Bookshop on Yelp by going HERE.
Then just let us know next time you're in the store, and we'll take 10% off your purchase as a thank-you, or, if you prefer, we'll give you five Mylar dust jacket covers.  

Puzzler answer:  Rudyard Kipling, "If."

Thanks to Dr. Mardy Grothe for the use of his puzzler.  Visit him at
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