An open book

Some people call it hoarding, I call it collecting.  I don’t know what it is about old books, but I find them beautiful.  Over the weekend, I visited a charity bookfest to rummage through piles and piles of old books in hope of discovering a gem or two.  Beautiful, fabric covered books from the early 20th Century – delicately penned in the top corner of the first page with a name, sometimes a date or a message.  I particularly love finding those books which are dog-eared and underlined with notes scrawled in the margins.  Those are books that have been treasured and loved.

The highlights from my rummage were:

*An illustrated 1953 copy of Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’

* An Anthology of Poems that lived on a shelf of the British Council Library in Paris in from 1945 – 1958 (library records still in tact on the front page)

* A dog-eared book on ‘Courage’ – the transcript of a 1922 address to St Andrews University printed on heavy cardstock pages – in which has an old, grainy black and white snapshot of a middle-aged woman has been used as a bookmark

*A beautiful Children’s picture book from the 60’s about a polar bear named Pierre who goes exploring in a city

Open BookOld BooksOld BooksOpen BookBooks

9 thoughts on “An open book

  1. I love old books, too. It gives me a sense of connection with the previous owner — like there’s this feeling of friendship shares between me and the previous owner where the two of us are the only ones sharing a secret. Plus, the antiquity of old books have this powerful historical aura about them. It’s like an heirloom handed down from generation to generation which gives it that sentimental value and that immortal effect.

  2. I was doing some research for a book I made on the 5 senses and I included this…..
    Lignin prevents trees from adopting the weeping habit and is closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years it breaks down and smells delightful. Which is how
    marvellous mother nature has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell intriguing…
    Subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in us all.

  3. Love, love this post. I couldn’t agree more– some of my favorites in my house are stacks of beautifully bound old books. And we have a framed page of a 1611 King James Bible on our wall. It’s fun to know the book has a history that you share with the reader who penciled in notes or left a gift inscription on the flu leaf. thanks for the beautiful post.

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