John Ring’s stock and trade is old books. The older, the better when it comes to showing and selling them at his Bath antiquarian bookstore, Open Door Books.
In his quest for old books, Ring often digs through collections at estate sales and at the homes of downsizing seniors — and it was at one of those houses that he came across a book that truly mystified him. Titled “Originality: A Collection of Juvenile Compositions,” it was published in 1834 in Bangor.
Other than the poems and essays contained within its 50 pages and the little information on the title page, however, that’s about all he’s been able to find out about it. No named publisher is listed in the book. There’s no record of its publication at the Library of Congress. None of his fellow antiquarian booksellers have heard of it. The Bangor Historical Society was stumped, as was the Bangor Public Library.
Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.
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