How a 1st edition Anne book landed at a Summerside bookstore

First edition books from the Anne series by L. M. Montgomery don’t become available on P.E.I. very often, and it’s even more unusual for the owner of a used bookstore to be gifted one.

‘You can’t give me that!’

It's hard to choose a favourite Anne book, says Nancy Quinn, but she now has one more reason to be fond of Anne of the Island. (Seaside Books)

First edition books from the Anne series by L. M. Montgomery don't become available on P.E.I. very often, and it's even more unusual for the owner of a used bookstore to be gifted one.

But it recently happened to Nancy Quinn, owner of Seaside Books in Summerside.

It started with a man coming into her shop with some books he wanted evaluated, a service she offers for free.

"I recognized him because a couple of years ago he had been in to have some books evaluated, and he brought a couple in for me to look at," said Quinn.

Someone else entered the shop while she was looking at the first book, and he suggested she leave him to help her. The woman was interested in the Anne series, and they began discussing what they liked about all eight books.

Quinn said it was hard to choose a favourite, but Anne of the Island, the third of the series stood out for her.

Smiling woman holds book with title Anne of the Island as she stands in front of bookshelves.
Nancy Quinn considered keeping the book for herself. (Seaside Books.)

When she went back to the man with the books for evaluation, the next one he pulled out of his bag was Anne of the Island, a first edition from 1915. He said because she was so generous in not charging an evaluation fee, he wanted to give it to her.

"I said, 'You can't give me that! That's a really valuable book. You can't do that.' He said, 'Oh yes, I really want to. I wasn't planning on it. I just feel it's what I really want to do,'" said Quinn.

After a little research, Quinn determined the book is worth about $1,000.

"There's a little part of me that wants to hoard it," she said.

"I'm a book lover, and one of my absolute passions is reading Lucy Maud Montgomery. It's a beautiful book to hold. It feels very nice."

It is, however, now for sale with the $1,000 price tag. But in recognition of the gift, half of the selling price will go to the charity of the buyer's choice.

L.M. Montgomery is best known for her novel Anne of Green Gables. (Seaside Books)


Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. Kevin has a specialty in data journalism, and how statistics relate to the changing lives of Islanders. He has a BSc and a BA from Dalhousie University, and studied journalism at Holland College in Charlottetown. You can reach him at

With files from Island Morning