Thursday, December 3, 2009

Collecting Old Books - My Newest Fetish

Last summer, while exploring a small, quaint town (one of my favorite hobbies), I chanced upon a used bookstore. I spent hours there, exploring the rooms and categories of wonderful used books. Most were fairly recent titles; of these, I bought a few popular cheap novels for summer reading.

Then, I saw it - a blue 1929 Depression-era copy of one of my favorite British novels, Jane Eyre. It was in good condition and even boasted a few interesting illustrations. On the inside cover, I found an inscription: "From Auntie Lucy, Christmas 1930". I imagined a nameless young girl, now an old woman or even deceased, gleefully unwrapping this classic book from her aunt, thanking her for her gift, and devouring it through the cold winters before television.

This book told a story, and not just that of Jane Eyre, but of the former owners. I had to have it, and thus began my recent interest in collecting old books. Be it in thrift stores, used book stores, or Ebay, I have started a very modest collection of old books. A 1893 version of Cranford; a 1907 edition of The House of Seven Gables; and a beautiful 1884 copy of poems by Longfellow. To me, they're treasures, and I eagerly await my next purchase (although budget demands I continue to wait until the holidays are over).

Do you collect books, or anything else?

1 comment:

  1. I love Jane Eyre! My favorite book and a great winter read.
    I collect bags and coats.


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