August 14th, 2003
BY MONTE MAXWELL
Cheryl Torsney has long appreciated the works of Henry James. The professor of English has read everything James has written and turns students onto his writing. So purchasing an antique set of his works involved a little sentiment.
She knew she found a treasure and received confirmation during the Book Lovers’ Road Show held Aug. 1 in the Robinson Reading Room of the Charles C. Wise Jr. Library.
“I was surprised to learn that my set of James’s New York Edition has tripled in value since I bought it about 10 years ago,” Torsney said. “That makes it a pretty good investment.”
Torsney was among 65 people who stood in line to discover if that book handed down from a grandparent or picked up at a yard sale is a gem.
Jack Walsdorf, with help from WVU Libraries staff, offered appraisals on more than 120 books. Walsdorf, the author/editor of 15 books relating to the history of printing and bibliography, travels the country with his version of Public Television’s Antique Road Show.
Rather than antiques, his expertise is books. Along with setting price tags for books, Walsdorf also offered the audience tips for book collecting.
This event was his first stop in North Central West Virginia. Dean
Frances O’Brien said the Book Lovers’ Road Show will become an
annual event for the WVU Libraries.