The thrill when a new book arrives

It was a fantastic thrill when the first copies of my first book arrived. It was the book of my PhD thesis, published by Open Court, a prestigious US publisher with a great range of philosophy books. It was hardback, with a dust jacket that had a photo of me on the back. When I picked it up and smelled the fresh print, I felt I had done something that was important to me. It was called "Trial & Error and the Idea of Progress," spelled out in white Times New Roman lettering on a red cover. I put it on the mantelpiece and just stared at it for a long time. 

I have done the same with many books since, but there was a special magic about that first one. There was a sequel decades later. A friend read it when it was long out of print and urged that a paperback second edition should be published. This posed problems because there was no electronic record of the book. It had appeared long before personal computers and digital technology. I bought a second-hand copy, an ex-library book, from Amazon, and had it chopped and each page scanned. I hired someone from India online to use hand-corrected optical character recognition to produce a Word copy of it. That made a paperback second edition possible. The original cover was reproduced, and I saw no reason to modify any of the ideas of the original. It was reprinted verbatim. When the first copies were delivered, I remembered the original feeling and experienced it again.