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!
I picked up a Companion Library copy of Heidi by Johanna Spyri and Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge, both illustrated.
I found a paperback copy of The Moral Compass, a compilation of stories and poems for children, edited by 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
These are all the books I purchased. Now I just have to find a place to put them! And, so, adieu!
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)