“Books!” said Tuppence.
After producing the word “rather with the effect of a bad tempered explosion”, Tuppence then explains to her husband that it’s incredible how much space all the books take up, and that she really doesn’t know what she’s trying to do with them.That is the beginning of “Postern of Fate,” one of my all-time favorite “Tommy and Tuppence” mysteries by Agatha Christie. Tuppence is sorting out three crates of books they had purchased along with their new house. I was reminded of this story the other day when I was working on the bookshelf in the front living room. When I re-arranged the front room after I got the new red chair, (see “The Rest of the Story”,) I had to take everything off the tall bookshelf (which at the time was the “sideways shelf”), and never took the time to organize it when I put the items back on. And that was how long ago? Hmm…that post was from January of 2019. So, over a year? Surely not…
While I didn’t have three crates full (at least not on that shelf), I could still relate to Tuppence’s outburst. I have inherited a considerable number of “antique” books over the years, and have bought quite a few at thrift stores and library sales.The new “theme” of the front living room (besides being the kitty playroom) is going to be family history, old books and vintage items. So this time I dusted off each book and looked inside, even if only for a minute. While, unlike Tuppence, I didn’t find any secret messages from a hundred years ago (as in “Mary Jordan did not die naturally…”), I did find a lot that interested me.These, as far as I can tell, are from book sales, and didn’t belong to anyone from my family tree. But I have pretty much always had antique books around as “decor”, so who knows when or where I got them. Not sure how many people would agree, but I think old books are the best!The third book from the top is the 1925 World Atlas I got for 50 cents at a yard sale in around 1978. It was one of my first yard sale “finds” and I still remember how excited I was to get something so old for so cheap. “Incidents of Travel in Yucatan”, volumes one and two, weren’t that cheap, but they were worth every penny when I found them in a used bookstore some thirty years ago. Even though they aren’t on “the” bookshelf, they are in the front room, so I felt like they fit in here. If you haven’t read anything about these books, written by John Lloyd Stephens and illustrated by Frederick Catherwood, you are missing out. That’s all I can say. These books are amazing.My Grandpa Johnson was a minister, and many of his church related books have found their way to me.
A few years ago a cousin sent me my Grandma Johnson’s well-used Bible, which had been rebound twice since 1919. A real treasure!
I’ve had this book for years and never really realized what it was. After dusting it off, I discovered a lot of cool information inside, some of which included my grandfather.Unbeknownst to me, the whole Augustana College band enlisted in the Army together in 1917, and that’s how my grandpa became a band corporal during the first world war. You can see a picture of him in uniform, along with my other grandfather, “Geo”, if you go back and look through “Raised by Swedes”.The 123rd Field Artillery was eventually sent to France. What a fun thing for a language person to have in their collection! Grandpa’s French book from 1917.
This book is all in Swedish, but I’m pretty sure this part is highlighting the class that was ordained in 1922.
This book was from my Grandma Anderson, on the other side of the family. Although Swedish is not one of my “two-and-a-half languages”, I remember Grandma reading this to me as a small child and being fascinated by it.
This one had a couple of photos inside the front cover, but I don’t know who the girl is, nor did I recognize the name that was written inside. The closest thing I’ve gotten to a mystery like Tuppence Beresford’s, I guess.
I’m sure I could sit and look at old books all day, but I don’t know if the same goes for everyone else. So I’ll wrap this up and show you the finished shelf.
At least it’s finished for now…