The first in my collection isn't one I acquired for free - it cost me $3, and that was after I talked the guy down from $5. Call me a cheapskate if you will, but I call it bargaining. And when you don't have $$$ and you're trying to build a collection of books, you get what you can take. This little treasure is a 1920 edition of Webster's New International Dictionary. This book is HUGE!
The book's condition isn't stellar, but it isn't the worst condition I've seen a book in either. Pages are worn, as are the tabs, and the binding is a bit loose and the cloth of the binding is frayed in certain places.
When you first open the cover, you're greeted with some old newspaper articles and clippings that the owner of the book glued in. I actually don't mind this because it gives little pieces of history with the book.
The pages are India Paper, some of my favorite to be found in old books and Bibles. Because of how thin the paper is, some of the pages in the dictionary are ruined from the 90+ years this book has been around, mainly because they became folded when the book was shut and it creased the paper permanently, or the book was dropped and the pages took a beating.
Elsewhere in the book you can find, among the basic dictionary entries, pages full of key information, like flags of the world, cathedrals, or human anatomy. This thing reads more like an encyclopedia in certain areas than a dictionary, but that's okay with me.
As far as the history of this particular edition of Webster's New International Dictionary, I haven't been able to pull up too much information on it. Wikipedia has information on a 1909 and a 1934 edition, but the edition I have is clearly a 1920 according to the title page which states it is a revision of the 1890 and 1900 edition. There is a copyright page which lists copyrights for 1909 and 1913, but beyond that, I don't know much about this beautiful tome. Doesn't matter though, it's going to sit beautifully on my shelf until maybe I have the money someday to have it restored and preserved for the generations who come after me.