Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Aug 9, 2008

Books! Library Sale Treasures

Today was the monthly Friends of the Library sale and it was an interesting experience for me. Even though I'm gearing up to begin bookselling again , something I haven't had much motivation for since Patrick's death, I went to the sale only as Zann the Booklover.

Evidence of that is that I only spent $23 and brought home just one box of books:
In that box are back issues of Interweave Knits and Magic Crochet, a couple of 40s crochet booklets, two fat anthology volumes for children of poetry, essays, songs and stories (1907), a couple of contemporary mysteries, including a 2-in-1 Maisie Dobbs which I've been wanting to read since a friend's recommendation. There is an assortment of New Age self-improvement/spirituality books, a poetry-writing and appreciation manual, and a book on Life and Death, compiled from great philosophers. Many, many goodies for me!

But here are the books that I consider the Best of the Box. There are four.
The first is this rather worn ex-library in a non-descript binding:
which turned out to be the 1913 Second Edition of a classic of needlework which was reprinted by Dover in 1970 and Batsford in 1990.
It is, as they say, profusely illustrated in both black and white (this is a sampler by Charlotte Bronte, ones by her sisters appear as well)
and in lovely color.

The text is very detailed with useful information on technique, sampler verses and interesting trivia (the sisters Bronte were 13, 11 and 10 when they did their wordy embroideries.) There are also observations, some quaint, on the social history of such work.

Finally, here is just the sort of little thing I love about the acquisition of old books - the discovery of an errata slip that surely was tipped-in (pasted) at one point, but is now just laid-in and has managed to survive in its proper place for almost 100 years.

Treasure No. 2 - Mermaids' Tales by Ruth Ainsworth, a nice little fairy/folk tale collection with a dust jacket that alone was worth the .80 paid. Illustrated throughout with black and white line drawings. This copy is the 1980 British First Edition.

Treasure No. 3 - an anthology of illustrations from children's books of two centuries.

And, I've saved my favorite of the day for last.
A copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with illustrations by Tove Jansson.
I only knew Jannson's work as the author/illustrator of the Moomintroll books.
I've never run across this book before and it just delights me.
I shall let a selection of the quirky illustrations speak for themselves:

Well, I have to comment on this next one!
This is my favorite illustration of all. I've never seen a more interesting, and rather hilarious, depiction of the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse. The Mad Hatter looks quite like my first husband, who was an artist and more Beat than hippie when we met in the 60s.
And the Hare...hmmm....
I just found a great site which compiles illustrations from Jansson's other non-Moomintroll work. Just click here.


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At 8/12/08, 7:15 AM, Blogger Driftless Books and Music said...

great reading your blog. i love to see what others pick up at sales. Keep up the blogging.


At 8/16/08, 6:31 PM, Blogger Barbara H. said...

As a fellow bibliophile, I know the feeling of excitement re great book finds! Love the illustrations!


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