Book Hunting Adventure: Tolkien's Sir Gawain

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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The story of how I found my copy of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by JRR Tolkien at Commonwealth Books in Boston!

In 2013, I went to Boston with my Aunt and cousin. While we were doing a self-guided walk of the Freedom Trail I happened to notice a little pedestrian alley. I really liked this, we don't have anything like that back home in Buffalo. I was just mentioning the cute little street to my Aunt when I noticed a sandwich board type sign that advertised “Commonwealth Books.” 
You can just see Commonweath Books down
the alley of Spring Lane.

Well, of course, I immediately wanted to go in. My Aunt was not into it. We had been walking for a while and it was really hot so she told me to go on and have a look around while she and my cousin ducked into a small cell phone shop on the corner to hide in the A/C.

Commonwealth Books was a nice shop. It was one of those shops that was like a little tornado of books. Organized, but packed. I looked around for a bit, but couldn't really find anything that I considered “must have.” However, just as I was leaving I overheard a couple girls talking about JRR Tolkien and how they didn't realize he translated famous old tales, not just Lord of the Rings. I kinda hovered in their general area being a creep until they moved because I love Tolkien and I didn't have any of his translations. I was really excited to see that the book the girls was looking at was the Professor's translation of
This is the book I found on my adventure in front of some of the
other Arthurian books I gathered for the project.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight! 

I was super excited! I didn't even know he had done a translation of that! I had read bits of it a few semesters previously and it was interesting but the translation wasn't very good. I knew that Tolkien's had to be better. At the time of this trip I was getting ready for a strange, invitation only class starting the next semester and I was planning on doing a lot of research on the Arthurian Legend as part of the class. Score! I knew that I had found that elusive “must have” book! I purchased it and went back to the air conditioned cell phone store to tell my Aunt about my find. 


Lynda said...

I can just picture the excitement on your face!