Yes, it's a splurge, an indulgence, but when I discovered amazon.com was still selling my essay "A View from a Catwalk" (well, the book it's in, anyway...State Lines (A Wardlaw Book), compiled by Ken Hammond and published by Texas A&M University Press in 1993), I decided to buy myself a hardback copy.
I already have two paperback copies. One I purchased when it was first published - authors got a discounted price, but I still couldn't afford a hardback copy back then. I think I bought copies for everyone in my family. The other one I came across in a Half-Price Books store, so of course, I had to buy it. It was all I could do not to flip through the pages and show the cashier my by-line.
It was curiosity and vanity that drove me to search for the book last night while I was shopping for another book...I didn't really expect to find it. But what a rush when I did! I can't imagine how it would feel if I ever had a whole book of mine published, one that actually had my name on the outside.
A little voice inside my head finally convinced me this morning that I NEEDED, yes, even DESERVED a hardback copy, a trophy of my writing success. On the Table of Contents, my name is listed just below Naomi Shihab Nye. Also listed are Marion Winik, Leon Hale, Pete and Steven Barthelme, Rick Bass, Allen Wier...it gives me goosebumps knowing my essay is forever nestled among those of these and other talented authors. I'm not sure I need or deserve it, but I want a copy that will last.