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I was cleaning up the shelves. happened to bump into a book that looked quite old & I wanted to dispose it off without opening. But opened & looked at the date, it's 1965, signed by my dad when he was a teenager. It's an (ELBS) Engish to English dictionary. It was beautiful with lots of tiny illustrations. I guess that's the oldest one I have right now. So I'm keeping this specimen.
Absolutely no idea. I haven't even opened a paper book since I got my first tablet - 7 years ago? - and will probably dispose of most of 'em some day. Just keep the one my brother gave me, autographed by pTerry himself.
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
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I have several books from the late 1800's and early 1900's, beautiful bindings and black and white illustrations, unique font, obviously in an older form of English that's interesting to read, and of course the writing style is so different.
But the unique thing is several of them have "to so-and-so" as a gift, with the date, and "from", and I pause when I see that. Here I'm holding a gift someone gave to someone else, for a birthday or just because, and they are undoubtedly dead, and those three lines are such an amazing glimpse into two people's lives and what was important to them.
Here I'm holding a gift someone gave to someone else, for a birthday or just because, and they are undoubtedly dead
I have a few books like this, some Victorian, it always adds something to the book somehow. When I was student in the 90s the local charity shops were mines for this type of thing - local academic's books would turn up. Now they've seem to have centralised to some extent, actually checking the prices before selling in dedicated charity bookshops. The normal charity shops are left with the dross like Jeffery Archer novels.
I once found a small book of natural remedies for dogs printed during the War and gave it to my mam. It turned out to be pretty rare, so she donated it to the museum that looked at it for her.
My star find was a sex education manual called something like "The ABZ of Sex" from (I'm judging by the illustrations) the '50s. It was a really funny read, largely because the author couldn't seem to contain himself when writing on the subject of feet.
Bought by me: The lord of the rings from 1990 (read several times).
Bought for me: The little Larousse from 1985 or 1986
Not bought by me: A love-story book of my great-grandma (something from the 20ies) and some music notes dated in the end of 19th century (188x or 189x, not sure when) (these actually are my wife's)
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I buy old books all the time. Cook books from 1920-30. Poultry farming, I think that one is dated 1905. A Danish-Norwegian dictionary from 1906 that tries to (re-)introduce some traditional Norwegain terms to mark a greater distance from Danish - some of the words are really great, but didn't catch on. Some did. I believe that the English "Pocket Dicitionary" is from the late 1800s (I am not at home when writing this, so I cannot check).
I guess I read every single book from my own childhood to my daughter when she was a kid. And then some: In used-books shops I found more books of the same authors, books I didn't know when I was a boy, but I certainly loved to get to know them as an adult. Some of them were classics even in my boyhood, dating back to the 1950s (and my copies are that old, too), and upon reading them again, I can easily see what made them classics.
You do not throw away old books! That would be like throwing away old friendships.
I have decided that I might as well google myself. I am sick of wasting my time with 3-4 "friends", trying all that I might to avoid using words that could be related to "facts", making them all dive into their smartphones trying to be the first one making corrections to whatever I had happened to utter, based on True Reality Facts from Wikipedia or whatever other googable holy, inexhaustible fountain of Eternal Truth. Usually, it takes a minute or two until a True Fact has been read from the smartphones, but usually within seconds, another word is uttered that requires a new smartphone dive into the world of True Facts.
In the old days, we chatted, smiles, cried, laughed, and sang together. Today we google together.
I am not very good at googling on a smartphone. I much too often make one statement every two minute or so, and then sit by myself for a few minutes waiting for the others to complete googling something that I said, to be rejected or expanded on by more read-aloud "facts".
Friendships are not what it used to be. Fact is, when they reduce to googling matches, I tend to throw them away. Sad, but true.
I have a complete collection of Charles Dickens that is old enough not to have a publishing date in it, so probably circa 1900? I do have some Thomas the Tank Engine books that have publication dates of 55-60. And in my parents collection there's an old Bible, which I seem to recall had a date of about 1690, based on the births/marriages/deaths listed inside - but I can't be sure about.