Winter is a good time to do some reading. Sometimes the books themselves have stories that are just as interesting as those on the pages between their covers.
My family has been blessed with school librarians. Our daughter is currently a school librarian and I plan to give her these two old books to celebrate that continuing tradition. They’re probably more appropriate for curio display rather than content, because things have changed a lot in in the past 70 or 80 years.These two textbooks belonged to my mother who was also a school librarian. The copyright dates are1941and 1953 so there’s no mention of eBooks or any digital media. Those things weren’t even dreamed of back in those days!
The inscription in this book says that my dad and his sister gave it to their grandpa (my great-grandpa) for his birthday in May of 1921. Actually, since Dad was only 3 years old and his sister was 11, it was probably their mother (my grandma) who gave her own father the book. He was Scotch-Irish and loved Bobby Burns poetry; the copyright date is 1900. I recently gave our grandson who has an interest in music, a book of gospel songs. It was used by my grandpa (his great-great-grandpa) who sang in a male quartet in the early part of the twentieth century.
This set of encyclopedias carries a copyright date of 1915. It probably belonged to my grandparents who were the gospel singer and the mom who gifted the poetry book. They both enjoyed reading and raised their two children to do the same. These books were the Wikipedia back in those days, except that the content was rigidly controlled by the publisher. That’s a stark contrast to the open-source exchange of information that we enjoy today. Some things HAVE improved!
This series of books is called the “Student’s Handy Shakespeare” and the single volume on the right end is titled “A Child’s History of England”. That single volume is by Charles Dickens; it carries an 1881 copyright. I think that these books all belonged my grandma. My aunt gave these books to my daughter for a college graduation gift. My aunt was the 11 year old who “gave” the gift of Bobby Burns poetry and she also grew up to be a school librarian.
So, some member of my family has basically had their nose in a book for six generations. And, we’ve been blessed with school librarians.