Some bookshelves

I love looking at other peoples’ bookshelves, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, so I thought I would start photographing some of them. This bookcase originally belonged to my in-laws, as did some of the books but I have bought quite a few of them.

The second shelf houses what was a great find in a second-hand/used bookshop, a beautiful copy of Elizabeth’s German Garden by a lady. I just had to buy it, loved it and it led me to Elizabeth von Arnim’s other books.

I love old leather bound books, some people actually buy them by the yard/metre but that’s madness, they’re just crying out to be read. The cream coloured book on the top shelf is the first classic book which I ever bought. I must have been about 9 years old and it is Catriona by R.L.Stevenson. I bought it because the title is my name, Katrina, only with the Gaelic spelling. When I got it home I realised that it is the sequel to Kidnapped so I had to read that one first.

A lot of books like these ones were originally given as school prizes and such is the case with The Adventures of Don Quixote. It was presented to Miss Marjory Besford for gaining certificates in English, Latin, Mathematics, Science, French and Drawing – in 1909. She was my husband’s granny.

I’ve read most of the books now, but not Robinson Crusoe or Walter Scott, and my Thomas Hardy phase was a long time ago, in my teenage days, it might be time to re-visit some of them.

I admit to buying the Penelope’s Experiences books because they are so gorgeous to look at but the writing is lovely too. They’re by Kate Douglas Wiggin who is better known for writing Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has a nice cover too. It’s another of granny’s school prizes. For me, books turn a house into a home, whether they are leather bound beauties or mass-produced paperbacks. Often the oldies are much cheaper than new ones, nowadays.

8 thoughts on “Some bookshelves

  1. Wonderful! Those shelves are beautiful — beautiful to look at and so inciting!

    I have a lot of those same types of old books with the intricate, pretty covers. I used to be better about reading them. Now I tend to pass them over. You remind me why I should read them and not just let them sit.

    It is particularly cool that some were your grandmother’s.

    • I really like reading the same books which grandparents read too, very sentimental. Sometimes the small print is a bit off-putting though.

      I know that you read A.J. Cronin books, you might be interested in the post which came before the bookshelf post. The photographs are of Dumbarton, where he grew up. The Rock in the background is the one which is mentioned by him in Wikipedia.

  2. Those books are so beautiful I’d almost be afraid to read them! I’ve also started collecting old books, but I only have a few so far. My favorite is a 1912 copy of Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster, inscribed, “Christmas 1913, from the Palmers.”

    • I’ve been lucky to have a lot of old books passed on to me from grandparents and parents. I know that some people hate books which have been inscribed, but I quite like it. It’s a wee window into the past life of that book.
      My copy of Closely Observed Trains has a sad one:

      Toby – A present from Prague. I missed you so much I never want to be away from you that long again. I love you. Lenka
      and it’s surrounded by lots of xxxxxx kisses.

      As I bought the book from a used bookshop – Toby can’t have been so keen on Lenka, she’s obviously an ex of a different sort now!

  3. I almost forgot — I’ve given you a Versatile Blogger award. Thanks for all the great reviews and the beautiful photos. So jealous, I’m dying to go to the UK.

    • Karen, Thanks so much for thinking of me for the award. Unfortunately I don’t have enough people to pass it on to, so I hope you don’t mind me ducking out of it. I had the same problem when Jane sent me a different one a while back – plus I’m not that keen on chain letter type things- I know I’m weird! I’m happy that you get some enjoyment from ‘Pining’ though, as I certainly do enjoy Books and Chocolate. I love that name.
      When you get to the UK don’t forget an umbrella, it’s chucking it down again!

  4. Loved the pictures of the bookselves… i think old books are better than the new ones .. they way they look when they age, the yellow pages and the smell of old books … i too dream of having such selves some day… maybe have my own personal library ….. you are really lucky to have inherited such beautiful leatherbound books …. people these days have forgotten what it is like to sit with a book in a nice cozy corner … good to see there are still some left

    • Debabrata,
      Thanks for visiting. I agree, I don’t have a Kindle because I love the feel and smell of books and – I know it’s a bit of a cliche but for me a house isn’t a home if it has no books in it. My favourite shops are second-hand bookshops, sadly there aren’t many of them left now.


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