It's funny. All that required reading from middle school - those stuffy old cumbersome novels and high-minded poetry collections that we all called "stupid" rather than admit we didn't understand any of it - came back to haunt me in the best possible way. I now treasure the sorts of books that I once rejected; the lessons of the classics are invaluable to an author, and revered by readers. All my classics are shiny paperback versions from Barnes & Noble, printed sometime in the past ten years, so it's always a treat to find an old, well-loved edition.
Saturday at the book sale provided just that opportunity. Look what I found on the two dollar table! Two dollars!
Lassie Come Home.
A collection of Kipling stories that was someone's Christmas present, dedicated to Charles and dated 1919. That one gave me a bit of a thrill; I imagined Charles somewhere, almost a century ago, opening the cover between his palms.
This volume of Tennyson poetry is literally crumbling away.
Check out the full color illustration in Louisa May Alcott's Silver Pitchers.
I love the colors and textures, the details, of the covers; the old, dusty library smell of the pages. Each one is scarred and stained in unique patterns; I wonder about the shelves they sat on, the people who read them, the arms they were tucked under. They feel a little bit like artifacts, as nerdy as that sounds; windows to a different time that still manage to be relevant. Old books are a wonderful thing.