Now that title just doesn’t have a very good ring. What it was meant to indicate is that, folks, well…
I tend to go rather overboard buying second-hand books. A reduction in income has forced me to become somewhat more disciplined in my shopping habits of late, but I still gravitate to the bookshelves at the thrift store or the jumbled boxes of incongruous volumes at the garage sale. I often come away with a tattered paperback copy of one of the classics which some highschooler has beautified by writing her name in the margin every several pages, and occasionally I’ll find a nice hardback which is in much better shape than the 50-cent pricetag would suggest. However, I don’t generally unearth anything of earthshattering value or significance.
One day I did stumble upon this boxed set of little leather-bound volumes, however; and while they fit right in with all the other stuff of un-earthshattering value and significance wherewith I fill my shopping sacks, they were so utterly charming (and in good shape for their age) that they trancend once-read novels and dog-eared Penguin Classics.
This, of course, is the view of the bookshelf-top/nightstand beside my bed, and the knick-knack shelf hanging above it. If you look closely, up there on the right end of that shelf, there is a little boxed volume of books.
This is them! (Yep, I took them out onto the front porch to catch some late-afternoon sun during our photo shoot.)
See their beautiful covers? If I had measured them before I took them back upstairs, I could tell you precisely how small they are; but as is, I suppose I’ll have to guess and say, somewhere around 3×5 inches. You could tuck one in your pocket for a stroll around the garden!
Title page for the “Winter” volume.
Sorry for the blurriness. Copywrite 1917. Can’t you just imagine a young lady in her long cinch-waisted dress and big hat fingering the pages 93 years ago?
These are the inner-cover illustrations. I didn’t think to check and see– maybe they’re the garden in each season? Beautiful though! The introductory sentiments indicate that this little set of volumes was written for the purpose of identifying common garden flowers, as opposed to wildflowers, which apparently were well-covered in the guide-book market.
Here are a couple of pages from the “winter” volume. Pretty (watercolor?) illustrations by various artists.
So there you have it! My thrifted antique flower guides. Who knows what I’ll find on my next visit to the second-hand store?…