Thursday, July 28, 2016

Animal Farm

Animal Farm
1946 Harcourt, Brace and Company
First American Edition
$12.00 used

Often, a book is worth more to you than the price you paid for it. I own several copies of 'Animal Farm'. I first read it in the '80s. In the period of time leading up to the year 1984 there was a renewed interest in the writing of George Orwell. For whatever reason he has always been one of my favorite writers.
Recently I have been able to track down and read some of his lesser known works. They include 'Why I write', 'Homage to Catalonia', and 'Burmese Days'.

~ I know, I am way behind on updating Goodreads, stop bugging me about it, Damnit!~ 

I ran across this first American Edition of 'Animal Farm' at the A-1 bookstore in Richville, OH. (if you've never been there, OMG) (Seriously, if you are local and want to go, let me know)
It has an excellent bookplate, and a reprint from the Book of the Month
Club News taped to the flyleaf (1946 tape, yay!)
Certainly 'Animal Farm' is a classic. And, quiet possibly, responsible for my love of political satire. It may also have piqued my fascination with Socialism.
This particular copy is a little worse for wear, but I am glad that I bought it and hope that someday my children or grandchildren will treasure it as well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


One of the many joys of buying old books is finding cool stuff that the previous owners have left betwixt the pages. Most of these treasures are called Ephemera.  In general, the word refers to printed material that is not meant to last forever. Used as a bookmark, or just forgotten, it can come in many forms. Above, is the haul that awaited me in a book sale copy of 'The Literature of England". It includes:

a pocket calendar from 1968
a course syllabus
class notes
several postcards
Heath Bar wrapper
theater ticket
and a beautiful embroidered bookmark

I have, over the years, found many interesting things in used books (including $150 in a copy of the 'Hobbit'). Feel free to share your stories in the comments section.
If you would like to learn more, visit the Ephemera Society of America  website.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Dictionary of Americanisms

A Dictionary of Americanisms
1951 The University of Chicago Press
Edited by Mitford M. Mathews
used $9.98 for the set

I found this two volume delight at the Last Exit Book Store in Kent, Ohio. I am a huge fanboy for interesting reference books. Now that I have a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, my next biblioconquest would have to be the Dictionary of American Regional English. Quite out of my price range and very obscure, unless someone knows about a Library sale I haven't heard of...
At any rate, this might be the next best thing.  It was modeled along the lines of the OED, but it contains only words and expressions that are truly American. Many are Native American words, loan words, cool-ass old timey Yankee Malaprops, and all kinds of Great Stuff! Here's an example:

I love leafing through these books, and I find something new every time. Currently Volume 1 is on my dictionary stand.
Quite honestly, I may never run across this gem ever again, and that's why I had to have it. If you'd like to see them, send me a message and buy me a cup of coffee.