Sunday, October 11, 2015

mind-altering collectible

One last note on the long, storied history of mind-altering plants. (It seems that as soon as we came to the notion that we were human, self-aware and special, we have been looking for ways to alter that reality.) 

Recently, I was looking through Karen Sue's collection of books and I came across the Golden Guide for "Hallucinogenic Plants." It still had the price—$1.39— she paid for it at a local used book store. She bought it because it "looked interesting," a folk history of mushrooms and plants used to alter reality. Originally, it had sold for $1.95 in the 1970s.

I grew up with the Golden Guides, the books were my first field guides and I still have a good collection, but not this one.


It's probably the most valuable; they're really hard to find. Parents complained. Even though it was the heady days of the 1960s and '70s, producing a guide for younger readers of hallucinogenic plants was not a good idea and the publisher soon pulled it from the market. There are just not that many copies in circulation.

Today, if you find one in hardcover, the pocket-sized field book sells for between $200 and $300 or even more. It's become quite a collectible, if you can get your head around that.


ADRIAN said...

Most of the blogs I follow are a little melancholy today. You've capped it. Thought I was going to get weeks of advice on green hallucinogenics. How about scanning the little book and giving us a page now and again. As I understand life, being blessed with intelligence as opposed to common sense is anything but a blessing, all the best.

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

Hello Adrian! Perhaps you are right. Maybe I should scan each page and put it out there. The history behind the various plants, their ceremonial usage is most fascinating.

BriteCloud said...

That is so cool you found that book. I would love to get a glimpse inside. Purely out of curiosity, mind you. :)

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

Hello BriteCloud.

How are you?

Yes. It's really quite a fun book. Your basic field guide with a lot of history tossed in for good measure.