*smooch* (ldy) wrote,

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Bibliophilic Philtre

Went to Vermont on a foliage road trip today... rather hazy so we didn't see much in the way of spectacular foliage, but had a great time nonetheless.

Did see this, though:
big, funky obelisk

Also bought some books.

OLD books.

I don't know what it is about old books... it's not usually the content that strikes me... often it's the binding, or the antiquated hand-cut pages, or even the scent. I have no room for them, and even though they weren't terribly expensive, I could certainly use my money for other things... yet I couldn't resist getting these:

Book #1: Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary (a library of essential knowledge) Printed 1941. I expect this one will get frequent use. I especially liked the frontispiece:
a pleasant way to spend eternity

Around the sides of that picture are names of various arts and sciences, and at bottom, "Knowledge is Man's Crown of Distinction." I find it comforting, somehow, that I might be able to browse through the dictionary in the afterlife.
Did you know that "frumentaceous" means "Having the character or resembling wheat or other cereal?" Well, now you do!
I could have gotten the 1957 unabridged... but I had difficulty lifting it.

Book #2: Bulfinch's Mythology; The Age of Fable Revised by Rev. E. E. Hale. Printed 1881; revised from the 1855 edition (which I believe was the first). I expect this one will get a bit of use, too. Deliciously indexed and cross-referenced.

Book #3: Israfel; The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe Once belonged to a certain Mrs. Edith Wyckoff, who wrote in cursive, and in pencil. Printed in 1934. It even has pictures! Sigh. I'm such a Poe addict.

Book #4: The Centennial Little Britain Memorial "A record of the proceedings on the occasion of the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the A. R. Presbyterian Church of Little Britain, N.Y...." (there's more on the frontispiece, but it goes on and on). Printed 1859. Gorgeous blue pressed binding. I liked the first paragraph of the preface:
That eccentric individual, Sir Thomas Browne, whose kindness of heart seemed to run parallel with his great eccentricity of character, says: "I cannot contentedly frame a prayer for myself, in particular, without a catalogue for my friends: nor request a happiness wherein my social disposition doth not deserve the fellowship of my neighbor. I never heard the toll of a passing bell (though in my mirth) without my prayers and best wishes for the departing spirit. I cannot go to cure the body of my patients, but I forget my profession and call unto God for his soul. I cannot see one say his prayers, but instead of imitating him, I fall into a supplication for him, who, perhaps, is no more to me than a common nature; and if God hath vouchsafed an ear to my supplications, there are surely many happy who never saw me and enjoy the blessing of my unknown devotion."

He sounds like quite the nice guy. I do hope his altruism is authentic. I assume it is :)
There's also a listing in the back of a good many religious books... some of these pages still remain uncut. As an extra bonus, slipped into the back was a listing of the "Locations of More than 700 J.C. Penney Co. Stores." How could I possibly resist?

Book #5: Just So Stories for Little Children by Rudyard Kipling. Lovely gilt red leather... and about to completely disintegrate. Thirteenth edition, June 1910. The front cover contained this image, and this image alone:
not likely an arian elephant

I'm not certain of the significance of this image. Something to investigate! :)
Especially nifty: Kipling's illustrations.

Ok, now that I've rationalized these purchases, I don't feel quite so naughty.

Good night... may you all be well-fed from what you read :)


PS: Welcome, nashata! (And a belated welcome to all of you who reciprocated my "friendness" in recent weeks-- thank you :) )

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