Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Love: Old Books

One of my favorite spots to waste away a day is a musty, crammed to the rafters used books store. I love the dust. I love the way the books feel when you open them, the slight yellowing of the pages, even that slight smell of mildew that comes from a long stored treasure.

Walk into a store like this with me and count your day gone. I will not be leaving soon. Who Knows what treasures await?

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When I was a child, I found a medical textbook from the 1800's. "Chill Blane" was a diagnosis. So was "Histrionic Female."

Perhaps I will find a new addition to my ever growing Wonder Book and My Book House collection. I read these over and over again as a child, somehow parted ways with them, and am slowly reacquiring them.

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In Paris, a French biography of Marcel Proust (that I can't read as my french is not good enough) with a beautiful red leather cover. This the same day I placed a Madeleine on his grave site.

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In New Orleans, the complete Remembrance of Things Past to add to my Proust obsession. In England, first editions for my mom's Miss Read collection. The journals of a Country Doctor. A cookbook by Toulouse Lautrec in which "Grilled Saint on a Stick" is an entree.

My great grandmother's copy of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Tennyson's poems. My mom's High School year book.

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I Love Old Books.

14 comments:

Aislynn said...

Ohhh, I love books.. especially old ones! Love the pictures :)

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Placing a madeleine on Proust's grave was very kind. I'm impressed that you have the recipe for "Grilled Saint on a Stick"? So funny! I would not have guessed that Toulouse-Lautrec authored a cookbook. It seems you have quite the collection.

Kickcan and Conkers said...

Oh I so love books too. I know how you feel! Did you catch these two videos on my site

http://kickcanandconkers.blogspot.com/2009/12/kerity-la-maison-des-contes.html

http://kickcanandconkers.blogspot.com/2009/12/pele-mele.html
The second one 'le bucheron des mots" is available in English.

Lupie said...

My daughter loves books as well. She loves going into old book stores and smell around the place.
I don't get it maybe you understand liking the smell of old books.

Beate said...

I love bookstores as well, and books of course! Old, new : dosn`t not matter.

Earth Mama said...

I always wonder who held them before...how many read the pages...who did they inspire...they hold history in so many ways. Old books are good.

:)Lisa

Roxanne said...

I am in awe that you left a madeleine on Proust's grave; what an offering. I will sit in a book store with you any day!

ImplausibleYarn said...

Those are beautiful old book! It makes me want to have a large library. The kind with rolling ladders and a big armchair in front of a fireplace.

Erin Wallace said...

Regarding the madelines on Proust's grave - I have a bit of a thing for him. I can't explain why really, but I do. Leaving a madeline seemed the appropriate thing to do.

And oh, would I love a library with stacks to the ceiling and rolling ladders and comfy chairs, a big fireplace and a cat on my lap - that would be heaven!

jane said...

What wonderful books! I love old books too - everything about them, the intricate decorations and details that aren't bothered with any more, the smell, the weight of them, the wonky typeface. Wonderful.
Your medical textbook sounds too funny - histrionic female! I have an early 20th century household medical book which I have inherited from a great-great grandmother and it has such funny remedies in it - my favourites so far are the use of an electric bath (pretty much what it sounds like - electrodes in the water...zzzap!) which was thought to help with everything from anaemia to diabetes... and the application of liberal quantities of hot mashed potato to the abdomen and back of a patient with renal colic. That one really did crack me up.
I have an old Tennyson as well - I love it.
I do need to add to my collection though. Yours is really impressive! Love the Proust story!

Kate said...

So, I'm looking into a catering company for the wedding called (and I'm so excited about this) ...

Swan's Way Catering.

Need I say more?

Jane said...

Mmm, I can smell them!

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

One of my best friends and I have a weekend ritual of browsing San Francisco's used bookstores. He is obsessed with the smell of books and makes me sniff them to confirm his suspicion that they are too musty. I love Toulouse-Lautrec's "Grilled Saint on a Stick". I used to have a running gag on my blog about "Gravy on a Stick", so I can appreciate that.

stringsofpurls said...

Our family loves old books. We have a charming old bookstore in downtown Cincinnati with quite a collection. 3 stories of wonder I call it. They also restore old volumes. The bookseller was telling us that he gets books from all over the world to restore. Apparently a lot of treasured volumes were sent to him after Katrina for restoration. He is a miracle worker.
My son is a composer and studied in Paris the last two summers. You might enjoy reading his blog on my sidebar. Brandon Collins is his name.
Blessings to you and yours!
Debbie

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