Yesterday I talked about why we should take the dustjackets off our books. Today, driving across town and listening to "This Is My Music" on CBC Radio 2, I heard the host, international concert pianist Jon Kimura Parker, tell this story.
In the early 70s, still a child, he was taken to see a concert given by the great pianist Arthur Rubinstein, whom he met backstage. He asked for an autograph, and Rubinstein gently told him that if he gave one to him, he'd have to give one to everybody - but that one day, Parker would have Rubinstein's autograph in gold. He was happy and excited about this promised treat, but realized a few days later that Mr. Rubinstein had not asked for his address, and that it was unlikely the autograph would ever materialize.
A few weeks later a biography of Arthur Rubinstein came out, and was promptly bought for him. He read it for some time, and then one day the dustjacket fell off.
And there, stamped on the cover in gold, was Arthur Rubinstein's signature.
You'll never know what's there until you look.