Over at the Newberry Library, adjacent to Bughouse Square (on Clark, just above Chicago Ave), they have a copy of the First Folio, the 1623 collection of Shakespeare’s plays published by his friends. It’s not exactly complete (it’s missing Pericles and some apocrypha that probably belongs in the canon), but it was the first time several of the plays had ever been published.
And they don’t just keep it under a glass case, either. They’ll bring it out to you on its own special pillow; you can touch it, read it, and smell it. I wouldn’t recommend tasting it (and it’s probably not allowed), but I imagine that careful, sneaky types might be able to pull it off. This is one of the wonderful things about Chicago – any time you feel like it, you can get your hands on a copy of the First Folio.
So, why do I bring this up today? Well, you see, the First Folio is really, really, really valuable. About 500 copies were printed, and just about half survive (though more keep turning up).
Just under 300 copies of the Weird Chicago Book with the misprint on the cover were printed.
Hurry up – a few may still be available!