Dusty deeds done dirt cheap
… or one good book deserves another…
Yesterday, I woke up, as I often do and found a cry for help in my inbox. It was from a young lady who was searching for a particular book and thought that I might be able to help. Apparently, she had been searching for it for almost twenty-five years, when someone on a community book forum mentioned that they might have seen a reference to it in the Smashwords interview that I did a few months ago. Not being the kind of chap to turn his back on a damsel in distress, I responded and said that I would see what I could do for her.
The book in question was called Dusty. It was part of an early reading series that told the story of Dusty, a merry-go-round horse, which came to life and had a series of misadventures before being adopted by a circus clown. As a child, I can remember my mother reading it to me over and over again, and for my part being saddened and delighted by turns at Dusty’s adventures in the big, wide world. The colour illustrations for me are timeless and helped make it a treasured possession, which still has a place on my bookshelf today.
Anyway, back to the story. The lady in question was desperate to try and track a copy of the book down in time for her mother’s sixtieth birthday, which is in a few weeks’ time. However, all she had to go on was a vague idea of the title, but it seemed to fit the description that I had outlined on Smashwords. So, I reverently lifted my copy from the bookshelf and sent her all the details that I could find, including the authors, publisher and a curious little number on the back cover, which could have been some early attempt at an ISBN.
Having done my good deed for the day, I was about to shut my computer down when I suddenly thought that this person had apparently been searching for the book for twenty-five years and I was the first person that she’d come across who actually knew what she was talking about… and I had a copy of the actual book in my possession. Could I possibly be sitting on the last extant copy of Dusty, I thought! Unlikely, but then you never know. After all, the book is at least fifty years old, if not older and was aimed at very young children, who are to books the equivalent of major road accidents to us.
So, in a rare act of philanthropy, I decided to scan the entire book, so that the human race still has a digital copy should anything happen to the paperback original. And just to make sure that it was the right book, I sent a few of the images to the young lady who had originally enquired about it, which I share with you here and which, I hope, made her day.
It’s still my hope that she manages to get a physical copy of Dusty in time for her mum’s birthday, but if not, then at least she can share the images that I sent and take a stroll down memory lane thanks to the power of modern technology.
Note: If you are the original author, illustrator or publisher of Dusty and you would like a digital copy for your records, then please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org