Insomnia :: Countdown to Halloween 2013

One of the things I loved most about Stephen King's The Dark Tower series is how it referenced so much of his other works. In some cases, not only are works or places or creatures referenced, but entire characters from earlier works pop up to help or hinder Roland Deschain and his band of misfits on their journey to The Dark Tower. I've read a lot of Stephen King's work, so I picked up many of the nods to other works, worlds and weirdos. Still, the man has written A LOT, and there are tons of books I have not read, and I am sure there were many more references that I missed

One book that gets a direct mention (as well as supplying a very important character) in The Dark Tower Book VII is Insomnia. Insomnia is a book I have not read, so I thought it somewhat cosmic when at right around the time I was reading of it's mention, I spotted a hardcover copy for sale at the local downtown library.

I barely gave it a glance at first - I had my toddler with me at the time, and Insomnia in hardcover is the size of a toddler- so I left it on the shelf intending to return and purchase it once we finished strolling around downtown and I was on my way back to my car.

On our way back, we missed the library's closing time by about five minutes. Oh well, I have a lot of books at home. I would find it again eventually.

Upon returning home, I mentioned to my wife how I had barely missed out on the book. She said she had seen the book at the library herself a few days earlier, but assumed I had already read it. She was heading back to town in a couple days and would look to see if it was still there for me.

Well it was. She paid the whopping one dollar asking price and returned home with it. Being distracted with other reading and parenting and work etc, it was a week or so later before I even picked the book up from the kitchen table where she had set it.

I flipped open to the title page and was greeted with a different kind of shock than I usually associate with Stephen King:

Yup, that's a  legitimate signature! Sure, I have no way of proving it's real - it matches King's signature, and it isn't printed on the page mechanically (there's even the ghost of the signature pressed into the following page from hand pressure, and a little ink seepage too) and I have no reason to believe someone in a single shot signed King's signature so accurately only to later donate the book to the library so they could sell it for a dollar!

But yes, I wasn't there when Mr. King signed it, so one can choose to be as cynical as one wishes to be.

As for me, I believe it is real, and for a buck that's good enough for me! I also check inside second-hand books more often now.

Here's the man himself on the back cover, right before he signed my book.

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