Several weeks ago, perhaps a month ago now, one of my brothers came home from examining the “treasures” at our local green dump (read green very loosely; that’s what it’s supposed to be, anyway!), and told me there were some old books left there. One was even an old fairy tale book! A day or two later, I took my normal walk around the block, and then we stopped to look at the books. What a treasure trove! If I had known what there was, I would have gone down earlier—but even so, I am pretty tickled with what they found!
The one of the most interest to me was an old 1880s or 1890s copy of Dr. Chase’s Last Receipt Book and Household Physician. I had never seen a book quite like this before, and there are some interesting recipes in here as well as some fascinating (if not scary!) advice. It’s also interesting to see some of the “new” ideas mentioned here, such as the discovery that milk keeps better if it’s chilled down in ice as soon as it has been milked out—what an amazing invention! 🙂
Also of interest was an old self-pronouncing dictionary. I was sad that the front cover and front pages are missing, but it’s still interesting to look through the definitions.
Then there’s Lily at her Grandmama’s, a delightful old-style picture book, and Northland Heroes written by the author of Haiawatha and containing a story of Beowolf as well as at least one other old story. The “fairy tale book” ended up being a newer (1950s) reprinting of Alice in Wonderland—I’m looking forward to reading this; I’ve been wanting to for a long time! And another newer book called The Whole Person in a Broken World (an interesting title, at least!), which promises to be good if I ever sit down to read it.
I just love the illustrations in Lily at her Grandmama’s!:
The other three books I got that day were not quite as interesting to me, but a friend of mine is interested in them—an old Latin Lessons book, a Latin Primer, and Henri Bué First French Book! Unfortunately, I never learned anything about either French or Latin, but I have a friend who has studied both and taught her daughter elements of both languages, and she’s interested in taking them into her own collection.
We gathered all the books we could find, and stuffed them into a reusable yellow shopping bag to carry home. It’s funny how you forget how heavy some things can be—and books must be among the heaviest!—but thankfully it wasn’t too far to haul them home. 🙂
The day after our dump find, then, a bag of several different books was given to us, and at the bottom of the stack was a very old English Bible! It was printed in 1855, and Mom surmised that it must have made a trip across the ocean in the bottom of someone’s sea chest at some stage. There are fascinating old documents in here—I’ll include a few pictures for you.
In all, this was quite the book haul, and I’m quite pleased about some of the finds we have. Keep your precious old books. You never know what a treasure they might be for the next generation!
What’s the oldest book you have ever owned? Have you rescued books from a dump before?