Autumn

Autumn

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Treasures Lost

It's a peaceful morning. Sweet Wife is hard at study for her job - she reads piles of documents as the wind whips the trees and scuds the clouds into a frenzy. The hard rains passed late this morning and has left us with gusts that exceed forty miles an hour. With no other sound in the house other than my breath and the click of this keyboard it's hard to stay awake. I need to get back into a novel.


My pretty friends, A Girl and Her Gun, and kymber, left remarks on my last post about encyclopedias. It made me recall, years past, when I dumped (literally) my last two sets in a dumpster for my move cross country. As I said to them, I deeply regret that awful and stupid act. But at the time all I held in life was a truck, a dog, my guns (wrapped in oiled wool blankets) a few clothes and two boxes of books (all first editions) and my life savings. I didn't have room for two sets of heavy and bulky encyclopedias. I even left my Labrador Retriever, Dixie, with a close friend, although I have her portrait framed and hung on my office wall.  

Back to the subject, encyclopedias. After our brief exchange on the subject I had this overwhelming desire to rush out and purchase another set. I need them like a hole in head but none the less there is a void in my library.  I did mention to kymber that as soon as I pass a thrift store or Salvation Army outpost or even a Goodwill store I will take time to stop and scan their shelves for a set. I hope to find another set of Britannica, but at this point I settle for those below. Yes, it's Russian.

 
There's just something warm and gentle about the feel of an old book, even an encyclopedia. If you're lucky enough to own a used leather bound set take it in hand and caress its covers and allow it to tell you of its journeys. Know in your heart some child has held the volume and dreamed of lands far away and has taken in the knowledge of its facts. It's very possible, some weary farmer, in his home snuggled deep in a river valley, sat before a fire with his wife and read aloud those passages of the founding of our nation. I'm sure they roamed from the swamps of Florida to the iced caps of both poles to the shores of Africa by nothing more than the flip of a time scented page. 


Some treasures just can't be replaced by a computer.

Stephen

20 comments:

  1. I've got my eye out for an Oxford English Dictionary. Those were darn pricey back in the day. They even sold a 1/2 size print that came with its own magnifying glass.

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    1. Funny, I need one too. Thanks, Sixbears.

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  2. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)March 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Never had them. But I DO have The Volume Library. It had everything you could ever want to know at the time. As a child it was the only way I got to see the world. I've carried that large tome to every place I have ever lived and today, it still sits on my desk. I just love the feel of that old leather cover! Brings back a lot of good memories.
    'Hope you find your set and relive your dreams......

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    1. Thank you, dear lady. We do get attached don't we. I'll find one. Sweet Wife said her mother has a set tucked away somewhere in her home...maybe I'll sneak it out.

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  3. Never found a use for the encyclopedias even when I had a set.

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    1. Nice to see you again, Becky. How have you been. Shame you didn't find a use for the set...world of knowledge tucked away in those volumes. Thanks, and have a great evening.

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  4. There is an old set in my parents' storage shed from the 70s that I need to pull out and dust off. I spent many an hour with those in my youth. My prized possession, though, is the WWII set of photograph books. There were only two and there are some pictures I've never seen anywhere else in those books.

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    1. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)March 4, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      Yup! I have those too... Came in a sleeve.."Life's Picture History of World War II" Gosh, I love old books! I also have the booklet for IDing enemy planes and my ration stamps. My Dad was the Civil Defense Captain on our block during the late 40's and early 50's when we lived in the city. (Wish I still had his helmet).

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    2. 45er, grab 'em and dust...too nice to sit and become a nest for mice.

      Phyllis, you have a treasure.

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  5. I wish I still had the old set we got when I was a kid. Not sure whatever happened to them but occasionally I think it would be good to have a pre-PC set before the cult of diversity took it's toll.

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    1. That's good, Bubba, pre PC...isn't it the truth. Thanks.

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  6. dearest, always sweet one...i promise that if i don't leave any children...stolen, bought, adopted, fostered or naturally born - then my encyclopaedias are for Little Bit...'nuff said!

    always love to you eh? your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Ah, shucks...thank you, dear sweet kymber..save them for your children which I'm sure is due any year now. Love to you too.

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  7. My parents brought over my old Jr. Brittanica's for my kids to use with school this past December. Even though some of the stats and names of the countries are changed, there are some things in there that are just as pertinent today as they were when I was a kid eons ago. Check out the usual haunts as thrift shops or even antique junk stores, but consider even craigslist or freecycle (put up a "wanted" ad for a set of them... someone may be thinking of getting rid of them but do not know who to give them to).

    I love old books... I just need more shelf space :-)

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    1. I agree, hobo, even with the passage of time facts are still facts. I'll find a set sooner or later and like you my shelf space is at a premium.

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  8. Shipping would be a real killer. I have 4 1/2 copy paper boxes full of World Book Encyclopedias from the mid 70's, their supplemental Year Books from 1975-2010, and the Science Year editions from 1966, 1967, 1977-1986. They have all been vacuumed, and wiped down. Now I just need to find out if the remaining Science Year volumes are lurking elsewhere in mom's house before I donate the entire set to someone who might actually read them. Oh, I hope she actually finally cancels the subscription.

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    1. I didn't even know subscriptions were still available...agree, shipping isn't even an option. Thanks, my lovely friend.

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  10. We had the whole set years ago and got tired of moving them from place to place. Finally took them to the Salvation Army. However, my bookshelves are still overflowing. I have a hard time parting with my "old friends".

    Blessings,
    Red

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    1. I so understand, Red...blessings to you too and thank you.

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