The book purchase of which I am proudest and have been most gratified by over the years? I’m so glad you asked.
It is the thirteen-volume boxed “Handy-Volume Shakspeare” set, published by George Routledge and Sons (of New York) around the 1880s.
I found this treasure a few years ago in a Hamilton, Ohio, used book shop that is now defunct. I think I paid $100 for the thirteen volumes with gilt lettering on the spine, which still feels like a steal. The pages are edged in gold and each volume is in great condition. The tiny set (each volume is 3″ x 4.75″) contains thirty-seven plays (no Henry VIII), and all the sonnets and poems! The case was missing the hinges and top half of the “lock,” but otherwise is in great shape.
I gave it pride of place on the bookshelf facing my desk and refer to it regularly, carefully, and lovingly.