A Chuser of Books!

I picked up a number of books at the library’s February book sale last month, so, if you are interested in long lists of other people’s books, pray read on!

From the Children’s section I purchased a couple of hardbound compilations of Bobby Lynn Maslen’s Bob Books. They are books meant for children just learning to read. I’ve been using them in teaching one of my little brothers to read. Now I have some of my own copies!

1a Children's Books group photo 1b Children's Books group photo minus Tailor of G 2 Bob Books book covers 3 Bob Books inside first volume 4 Bob Books inside second volume

I picked up a Companion Library copy of Heidi by Johanna Spyri and Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge, both illustrated.

5 Companion Library Heidi and Hans Brinker 6 Heidi Johanna Spyri front cover 9 Hans Brinker Fritz Kredel illustration 8 Hans Brinker Mary Mapes Dodge 7 Heidi Sergio Leone illustration

I found a paperback copy of The Moral Compass, a compilation of stories and poems for children, edited by William J. Bennett.

10 The Moral Compass William J. Bennett

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is one of my favorite children’s books. I never read it as a child, but “discovered” it later through reading it to children. I like children’s literature that is clever enough to interest the adult reading it, and Alice in Wonderland certainly qualifies. I found a beautiful, hardbound copy of Alice in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass. It has John Tenniel’s famous illustrations, some of them full-page and in color.

11 Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass front cover 12 Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass spine 13 Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass title page and frontispiece 14 Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll illustration by John Tenniel 15 Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll John Tenniel color illustration

Furthermore, I found a copy of Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, also illustrated by John Tenniel — a very special copy. It is hardback with silver edged pages. But, most importantly, it has the illustrations of Alice going through the looking-glass on opposite sides of the same page!

16 Through the Looking Glass Lewis Carroll John Tenniel front cover 17 Through the Looking-Glass gilt edges silver 22 Through the Looking-Glass Lewis Carroll back cover

18 Through the Looking Glass John Tenniel mirror progression 19 Through the Looking Glass John Tenniel mirror progression 20 Through the Looking Glass John Tenniel mirror progression 21 Through the Looking Glass John Tenniel mirror progression

I added one more volume to my collection of individually bound books by Beatrix Potter. My sister found this one for me. It is one of my favorite of Beatrix Potter’s stories — The Tailor of Gloucester.

23 Beatrix Potter Tailor of Gloucester front cover 24 Beatrix Potter Tailor of Gloucester illustration

Beatrix Potter is one of my favorite children’s authors, so I was delighted to find a copy of The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter! These books can be expensive, but the copy I found was only 50¢! The cover is in good condition and the pages are very white, clean, and crisp. It does have a few loose pages, however.

25 Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter front cover 27 Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter illustration 28 Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter illustration close-up 26 Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter illustration 29 Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter loose pages

I had never read The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi before, but I was planning on doing so. I found a copy translated by E. Harden. It is copiously illustrated by Roberto Innocenti. I have since read it, and enjoyed it very much. The illustrations, too, are charming and suit the tale well.

30 Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Roberto Innocenti font cover 31 Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Roberto Innocenti illustration 32 Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Roberto Innocenti illustrations 33 Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Roberto Innocenti illustration spread 34 Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Roberto Innocenti illustration 35 Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Roberto Innocenti page spread

I was equally pleased with the books I found in the adult sections. (Um, I seem to have managed to take a picture with one of the books upside-down. I guess I need to pay more attention to what I’m doing!) My sister found a quaint little copy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Evangeline. I have not read it before, but I like having small collections of poems, or individually bound poems, and was happy to add this to my hoard. There are a few illustrations in the center.

36 Adult books group photo Keats upside-down 37 Evangeline Longfellow front cover 38 Evangeline Longfellow center illustration

I have read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein before, and, though I didn’t think it one of the greatest books I have read, I would like to re-read it sometime. So, I picked up a simple, paperback copy that I found of it. Then, I got home and realized that I had already bought a much nicer copy of it at the last library book sale. Oops. It wasn’t on my bookshelf, so I had forgotten about it. Oh, well.

39 Frankenstein Mary Shelley front cover

One of the most exciting finds of the book sale was a two-volume set of The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My brother found it, but, as he already has a set, he passed it on to me. The dust covers are a little battered, but the binding underneath is in good condition — firm and clean. And, in case you can’t notice for yourself, the dustcover informs us that the set is “In Two Handsome Volumes”!

40 Complete Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle 41 Complete Sherlock Holmes Doyle front cover 42 Complete Sherlock Holmes Doyle back cover 44 Complete Sherlock Holmes Doyle in two volumes spines 43 Complete Sherlock Holmes Doyle detail

I’m collecting old hymnbooks for a project I may never get around to completing, but I hope to. Thus, I picked up this fetching copy of Great Revival Hymns, No. 2.

45 Great Revival Hymns front cover 46 Great Revival Hymns front cover detail 47 Great Revival Hymns inside

Another book that I was absolutely delighted to find was Audubon’s Birds of America. The cover is decorated with feathers and the illustrations are in color!

48 Audubon's Birds of America front cover with feathers 49 Audubon's Birds of America spine 50 Audubon's Birds of America page spread illustrations

In the “Old and Unusual” section of the book sale, I noticed a pretty book and was thrilled to find that it was a complete edition of Keats’s Poems! Its cover is beautifully embellished with leaves and flowers and the pages have gilt edges. I have been wanting a book of Keats’s poetry, and now I have one, and a very pretty one too! When I was looking through it at home the next day, I found a bonus inside — an oddly-shaped ace of spades playing card.

51 Keats's Poems front cover 52 Keats's Poems cover detail 53 Keats's Poems spine 54 Keats's Poems gilt edges gold 55 Keats's Poems title page 56 Keats's Poems decorated page 57 Keats's Poems A thing of beauty 58 Keats's Poems bonus

My collection of poetry grew greatly at this book sale. In addition to Evangeline and Keats’s Poems, I found eight volumes of a ten volume set of The Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley. Mr. Riley is one of my favorite poets. His poems are delightfully whimsical, like his “Nonsense Rhyme”: “Ringlety-Jing! And what shall we sing! Some little crinkety-crankety thing That rhymes and chimes, And skips, sometimes, As though wound up with a kink in the spring” &c. Each volume has several, full-page illustrations — some in color and some in black and white. The last volume has indexes of titles, first lines, and topics in the back. Oddly, the design on the spine of the fourth volume doesn’t seem to be printed on all the way. It is very neatly cut off partway down. Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with the set.

59 James Whitcomb Riley 60 James Whitcomb Riley front cover 61 James Whitcomb Riley front illustration 62 James Whitcomb Riley page spread illustration 63 James Whitcomb Riley page detail 67 James Whitcomb Riley A nonsense rhymne 68 James Whitcomb Riley A nonsense rhymne 64 James Whitcomb Riley index of titles 65 James Whitcomb Riley index of first lines 66 James Whitcomb Riley index by topics

Finally, I picked up Reader’s Digest Complete Do-it-yourself Manual and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. The first I got because I’m ignorant, and think that someday I might need some of the information it contains and will, therefore, find it handy. The second I got because I think that it is a helpful resource for teaching children to read.  I might even use it while teaching my little brother to read.

69 Reader's Digest Complete Do-it-yourself Manual 70 Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

These are all the books I purchased. Now I just have to find a place to put them! And, so, adieu!

72 Beatrix Potter Tailor of Gloucester



The title of this post was taken from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park:

By degrees [Fanny and Susan] came to spend the chief of the morning upstairs, at first only in working and talking, but after a few days, the remembrance of the said books grew so potent and stimulative that Fanny found it impossible not to try for books again. There were none in her father’s house; but wealth is luxurious and daring, and some of hers found its way to a circulating library. She became a subscriber; amazed at being anything in propria persona, amazed at her own doings in every way, to be a renter, a chuser of books! And to be having any one’s improvement in view in her choice! But so it was. Susan had read nothing, and Fanny longed to give her a share in her own first pleasures, and inspire a taste for the biography and poetry which she delighted in herself. (Ch. XL)

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