Give me a break! With all that indecision at Barnes & Noble last week concerning whether to buy those Superman books or the X-Men hardcover, I managed to walk away with an imperfect copy of the one book I did buy, Coma. Sure, it was a bargain book and cost less than five bucks, but damn it, I’m a book collector. Have been for years. And I’ve perfected my process of finding that one gem out of all the others. So how the hell did I spend 10 minutes scrutinizing all four copies yet come away with this crap?
I have no idea how this dust jacket got through my radar. Not only is there a quarter inch line of blue ball point pen ink on the back cover, but there’s also a small, reddish splotch the size of a nickel. I can almost understand missing one of those, but both of them? Good grief, did I not even turn the book over? I mean, steps 3 and 14 both clearly state that I must slowly look over every section of the back cover for quality insurance. How could I miss both? Do I need to take this to the next level and actually print out a checklist?
I was distracted, sure, but that’s no excuse. I’m no novice. This isn’t my first day on the job. I’ve done this thousands of times before. My only guess is that I skipped a step or two when I removed the only “flawless” dust jacket from one book and put it on another, the one with the tight spine and crisp white pages. But where did I slip up? I either put the dust jacket back on the same book, or I never bothered to look at the back cover. Either way, it’s unacceptable. I mean, if this were my career, I’d have to seriously consider laying myself off.
Lucky for me, I can go back to B&N and switch it out for a better copy. Hell, maybe it’s a sign indicating I should go back and pick up those Superman books. But what about my confidence? This is the type of thing that could send me into collecting tailspin. Will I second guess myself endlessly next time? Will I even be able to make a decision at all? If this gets out to the collecting community, my reputation will be ruined. I need to take corrective action immediately or all could be lost.