Saturday, January 21, 2012

Can’t Save Them All

It’s no secret that I love antiques.  Obsessed would be a better word, maybe even addicted.  There are so many different types of antiques that one can get into.  I personally am drawn to furniture, oddities, and books.  I go nuts over antique books.  I can lose all sense of time when I’m looking at antique books.  I am drawn to them when I go antiquing, kind of like a moth to a flame.

I love to read the way old books are written.  The English language continues to evolve (although I’m not sure for the better).  I have an 1856 reading primer.  It is almost too hard to read the forward that is written by the Secretary of Education.  I know I’m reading English as I try to read it, but the words are so formal and grand, it’s hard not to think it’s a foreign language.

I also find the subjects intriguing.  I have one that is titled Women Who Worked and Won.  Women working was such a foreign idea at the time it was worth writing about.  Can you imagine that?  I love that these ideas have been preserved in print.  I am a firm believer in the phrase “Those that do not learn from history are forced to repeat it.”  Just look at our current economic issues.  I think there are many among us that failed to learn from our grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ generation and the lessons they learned during the Great Depression, but I digress.

I have an antiques dealer who I buy most of my antiques from.  She knows about my obsession with books.  She has quite a book collection herself.  She has a book from 1760 that she showed me.  I cannot begin to tell you the honor I felt holding a book that was older than our country!  I wonder how many people have read that book.  Where has it been?  Who has owned it in the past two hundred years?  Someone very wealthy would have had to own it originally.  Books were for the privileged in that day.

My dealer (Karen) has become a friend over time.  She closes her shop during the last two weeks of the year so she can take her annual vacation.  During her break this year, she took me antiquing.  It was so much fun to go with an expert.  Every place we went, if I saw books, I had to take time and dig through them all.  It became a running joke that day.  At the last place we visited, Karen let out a loud groan.  I turned to her to ask if she was okay.  She said, “NO!  Look!” and pointed.  There were shelves and shelves of old books.  I died and went to antique book Heaven. I probably bought 40-50 old books that day.  My husband also groaned when I came home.  His first question was “Where will you put them all?”  No worries, Dear, they all found a home.

Today I went to Half-Price Books with my husband.  I was searching for The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.   I always check out their “collectible” (antique) section as well.  Sometimes you can find great deals.  I think someone must have passed away recently, as there was a ton of great old books (I assume the heir didn’t care and wanted to “cash” in).  As the pile I intended to buy continued to grow my husband sighed and finally said, “Dear, you can’t save them all.”  No Aaron, I can’t.  But I can sure try.  

Pretty soon I’ll have enough books to start my own library (just kidding).

Until Tomorrow - Melissa
 A few of my books on display in my Empire Cabinet.  This is where I keep my curiosities. 
More books, on another antique cabinet.  My loves of antique furniture and books go well together.


  1. I don't collect old books, but I love them. I can understand wanting to save them all!

    Mr. Sequin and I go to a lot of library book sales and used book stores to find books, and it's always like a treasure hunt. One time I found a book on cutting your own hair... from the 70's. Oh, it was hilarious. :)

  2. I love finding books with inscriptions in them too. Especially when its and occasion and give a date. Like Christmas 1898. Old handwriting is so beautiful.