Today's NY Times has a story about a 177-year-old first edition copy of the Book of Mormon that sold for $105,600.00 at an auction in upstate New York. It took all of six minutes for the auction to close, with an unidentified man from the East Coast making the winning bid.
Clearly one man's junk is another's icon. The book was discovered in the attic of an elderly man about to enter a nursing home just outside of Palmyra, NY, the birthplace of Mormonism. It is a striking contrast, where an iconic book was relegated to an attic in a region recognized by Mormons as a site of revelation and ultimately sold at an exorbitant price.
Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)