It was the discovery of an abandoned southern U.S. mansion that began my collecting of vintage books. A mansion with trees reaching their branches into the broken windows, with years of dripping water creating its own wall paper designs, and a grand staircase leading to the sun lit bedrooms upstairs. The only room to have anything in it was one bedroom, floor to ceiling with piles of books, stuffed and mounted fish and deer, and steamer trunks. So many piles of aged books, faintly holding on to the colours of their covers. Diving in, I began to see the interests and characters of those who had left these books behind. One small school book, Macaulay’s Essays On Milton And Addison was filled with musings, doodles, and caricatures drawn by its young owner. I was captivated by this book since I was most likely of the same age (17) and an avid doodler. But I felt it necessary to save all these books from their musty imprisonment so I began making piles, with help from my friend on this adventure, to shuttle them off to safety. With no reason visible or otherwise, the bedroom door swung closed with steady determination. All piling ceased, a small book was pocketed, and exits were hastily made, with point taken.
If that’s the case
I will be doing better than
Deep thoughts in class.
A Bad Penny has
plugged many a good
Marginalia. It doesn’t appeal to everyone. There are those who won’t buy a book if it has writing in it, understandable as it can distract and detract from what one is reading. But there are times when it is the most interesting part, that which gives insight into those who came before, or temporal context.
Now, try to imagine you’re sitting at your wooden desk, staring out the window of your history class; it’s 1918. Your fountain pen keeps leaking. Will there be enough ink to get through the math test in your next class? You should go over those figures again, but it’s all so boring. Boring, boring, boring. Gotta get a new nib, for sure.