Elvis Presley Annotated His Copy of “The Prophet,” and Now It’s For Sale

Elvis wasn't the only musical admirer of Gibran's book

Elvis Presley
Posed studio portrait of Elvis Presley.

Rock star, actor, musical legend — and, apparently, avid reader. Elvis Presley had a lot of passions, and one of them involved amassing a substantial personal library. Last year on World Book Day, Graceland published a retrospective look at some of Elvis’s favorite books and subjects. Evidently, he had a fondness for books about history and martial arts, as well as volumes on religion and spirituality.

At Literary Hub, Walker Kaplan reports that Presley’s annotated copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet — which he gave to friend and occasional bodyguard Ed Parker — is being sold via rare book dealer Peter Harrington. The cost? £19,500, or just under $27,000.

Presley was, reportedly, fond of Gibran’s work and owned several copies of his books. According to Kaplan’s article, Presley’s go-to gift for several of his close friends was The Prophet — complete with his own annotations and commentary.

As for the book in question, a BBC report from 2012 examined its longevity, noting that The Prophet has never been out of print since it was first published nearly a century ago. “The Beatles, John F Kennedy and Indira Gandhi are among those who have been influenced by its words,” wrote Shoku Amirani and Stephanie Hegarty.

What might a volume of Elvis’s collected annotations look like? As theoretical books go, it’s an intriguing prospect — though it probably wouldn’t be as chart-topping as Presley’s hits.

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