I have been a book collector since 1975. While my collecting interests have changed over the
years, one thing that has been constant is that I love unique, quirky, unusual books. Sometimes,
it is the inscription in a book, or it might be the topic or even the dust jacket art.
In September 1976, I dropped into Classic’s Books that was a basement bookshop on Yonge
Street, by Dundas, in Toronto. Long gone.
They always had a selection of discount books, and I picked up a novel with a catchy dust
jacket design and a bit of an unusual title The Road to Gandolfo. The author, Michael
Shepard, I had never heard of. This first edition, the first thing I check once a book passes
external inspection, was printed in 1975.
The next item of interest was the picture of the author – a fine looking young man of about two
years old. And the caption above the book was “Michael Shepard is the pseudonym of a best-
selling novelist.” That was intriguing!
Another step in my book selection process is to remove the book from the dust jacket, to ensure
that the actual covers of the book are in fine condition. That is when I discovered the three dust
jackets – WOW. How unusual is that! I don’t know but this might be the only book in the world
issued with three dust jackets. So, the buyer can pick which dust jacket is most appealing. And
as you can see, they differ greatly.
So, I invested my $2 and did so not caring what the book was about. In fact, I have never read
I moved my other Ludlum items to Raven & Gryphon Fine Books, but this minor treasure stayed in the personal collection. Fine copies with all dust jackets can be found on-line from US$100 up.