I recently did a rewatch of the Merlin television series (thanks Netflix!), and that prompted me to dip my toe into the fandom surrounding it. I discovered that there were books, action figures, and special annuals for the series that I was completely unaware of.
A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and ordered the Merlin annuals on Abe Books. However, the thing about Abe Books is that you never quite know what you’re going to get. I’ve had friends order books—looking for a particular edition—and the one they were shipped turned out to be a different edition than what was advertised. Since the Merlin annuals actually have quizzes, crosswords, word searches, and more, I knew there was a good chance that I would receive a book that had been written in. But I was also getting them at such low prices that I couldn’t complain.
My first shipment arrived containing the Merlin 2012 annual, and I started going through it page by page. When I first noticed writing, I shrugged my shoulders and was only slightly disappointed. Then I realized that I loved it! The kid (or grownup, who knows?) who had the book before me really knew their Merlin lore and had much keener eyes than I do; without their help, I don’t know that I would ever have found the differences between the very similar photos of well-loved scenes.
The thing I loved most was reading their answers on the Knight of Camelot quiz. I felt like I was getting to know them! I often picked different answers than they did, and it was interesting to compare myself to this person from the past who probably lived across an ocean from me (all of the books were sold by UK sellers).
I’ve scanned the pages below, and I hope that if you are a fan of Merlin, you will join in the fun and share your responses in the comments. The book’s previous owner turned out to be the most like Gwaine, while I am a combination of Sir Leon and Lancelot. What knight are you?
Eventually, the other three annuals arrived, and I was both happy and sad. I was happy that they were in such good condition, but also a bit sad that I didn’t get to share the book with a mysterious friend.
Do you like getting used books with scribbles from past owners in them?
To see our previous Merchandise Monday items, check out our Merchandise Monday Category!