Back in the day, losing yourself in a big, juicy book always meant holding the weight of those pages in your hot little hands. I well recall propping up Gone With the Wind’s 1037 pages on a pillow while a Minnesota blizzard raged at the windowpanes. I was 13 or 14—transported to Tara’s porch with a hot, sultry breeze stirring the Spanish moss that draped the trees. Of course the Tarleton twins were in my picture too.
Recently I learned from The Writer magazine that Margaret Mitchell’s Old South was inspired by her job for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. She interviewed Atlanta’s “Oldest Inhabitants” and her conversations with these elders informed her famous and evocative book.
In peeking into my weathered copy I found a New York Times article tucked next to the back cover reminding me that Gone With the Wind came close to being titled “Tote That Weary Load” or “Tomorrow is Another Day.” Thankfully, the heroine also narrowly avoided being called Pansy. Every page with Pansy had to be retyped and Scarlett inserted instead. Kudos perhaps, to her editor?