Her Book Is My Baby

I am a Jane Austen addict, and I am proud of it. There, I said it. It’s out there now…no taking it back.

Not that I’d want to, of course. I’ve been enthralled by Miss Austen’s books since I was thirteen years old. My mother had been pushing her copy of Pride and Prejudice at me for months, and in the beginning of my first year in high school, I gave in. And just like that, I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of her novels; I moved through the rest as soon as I could get my hands on them. Even that wasn’t enough, so I quickly discovered the new books, the fan-written continuations of Jane’s beautiful books.

Thus, what follows is actually rather unsurprising. When the professor of my honors seminar asked me and my classmates to chose a book to study for the semester, a book to become our “baby,” my mind immediately went to Jane Austen. I knew at the moment that I had to choose one of her books to be my baby.

But which would I choose?  At first, my heart demanded that an older copy Pride and Prejudice should be my choice. However, one look at the price of a first edition—over $75,000—opened me up to whichever of Jane’s novels might come my way.

Since buying a decent older copy was certainly out of the question, I eventually found my way to the library, and that’s where I found it:  a well-worn, threadbare, beautiful copy of Sense and Sensibility, printed in the earlier part of the twentieth century. No, it wasn’t Pride and Prejudice, and no, it certainly wasn’t a first editon…but it was beautiful. From the moment I saw it, I knew. This book was my baby.