The collectors and scholars brought their pristine first editions and their rare volumes to the author.
But a young reader made their way to the front of the signing.
They timidly placed their book in front of it's author. They felt embarresment and immediate regret. It wasn't gilded like the other books, or uncommon or special like the others'.
The reader pulled their hand away from their third-hand, dog-eared, fifteenth edition copy of the book.
But the author for first time piqued up. They opened the book and signed it.
The young reader quietly tried to apologize, "It's not valuable..."
The author reassured the reader:
"Those other tomes...
they are prized only in being untouched. They are like flawless gems, like every other valuable jewel. But this.."
The author handed over the signed book with all the reverence and care in the world.
"This book is priceless because of your love."
masto instance for the tildeverse