Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Favorite Things: Day 25

Favorite Things: Day 25 Books

Although Cydney makes a great case for the audible book and kindle, nothing will ever replace a good old fashioned bound book in my aesthetic. I've always been seduced by antique/vintage books especially and from a very young age, began collecting them at library sales my mom would take me to. Some of my most prized books are a complete collection of Louisa May Alcott's works my mother gifted me for my birthday a few years ago. She bought them in Hawaii at her friend's book shop and learned that they were owned by two young girls whose family came to Hawaii to be missionaries at the turn of last century. Her father prized books more than anything and built a shelter for their abundant collection before building a house for the family. The inscription reads to either Miss Ethel or Miss Anna Paris from a Mrs. Carter, 1900-1904. I love thinking about these girls, far away from their home and living in a strange land but being transported into Alcott's world just as I am every time I open one up.

I also have the complete works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Thackeray, Guy de Maupassant, almost all antique copies of Edith Wharton and Henry James, George Eliot, and Victor Hugo. I love the gilt edges, the decorative spines, the beautiful illustrations, the different typefaces, and yes, even the slight musty smell some of them emit.

When I packed up my car to drive solo from VA to Seattle at the age of 19, my little Toyota Corolla was packed to the gills with boxes and boxes of books. When my car caught on fire in the Nevada desert, I had all those boxes shipped to my final destination, rather than leave them behind, which just shows my dedication to the printed word. It's gotten a little out of hand, and sometimes I think I need to pare down. But then I sit in our reading room and realize I could never part with any of these friends.

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