Monday, 4 July 2011

Magpie Monday - Going Vintage

I've seen some fabulous vintage finds in other people's Magpie Monday posts, especially those containing my Very Favourite Thing - old books.  So I thought this week I'd share a couple of my own finds, fresh from a muddy field somewhere in the West Midlands.

First off, a genuine classic, in the dictionary sense of the word.  The 3rd? 4th? in the Little Women series (depending on which side of the pond you're on, as Little Women is split into 2 books in the UK, the second being Good Wives).  I've never read this one, in fact I don't think I've read Little Men either, the one that comes immediately before this.  But I've made a start, though I think it'll take me some time.  It's full of Old Book Smell, and if I don't finish it, or maybe even if I do, I think it'll find its way to its spiritual home in a bookshop in Hay-on-Wye one day.

(Background fabric, by the way is a very cheap & rather beautiful duvet set from Argos.  £5.99 for a double duvet & 2 pillow cases)
Ha!  Slightly less classic, but no less fun.  Sadly the "Monster Book for Girls" isn't a book about monsters, but more of the "improving stories for young women" nature.  All good wholesome fun, ripping yarns & jolly japes.  That sort of thing.

The two together cost me the mighty sum of £1.  I was sorely tempted to offer the guy on the stall a fiver to let me take away his whole box of Enid Blyton books, but then I realised that there's only so much Enid Blyton I can stand before I want to scream, and that has already been passed when I discovered the Complete Wishing Chair collection in reprint somewhere. So I didn't buy loads more books I didn't have space for, just the two.

But the second one really made me smile.  Inside the front cover, I found the following inscription:

Steal not this book for fear of shame
For there you see the owner's name  ->
And if you do the Lord will say
Where is that book you stole away
And if you say I cannot say
The Lord will cast you into hell

I have it on the very good authority of my mother that the penultimate line SHOULD read "And if you say I cannot tell..." because that makes it rhyme, and she apparently learned this rhyme at the convent school she went to back in the day.

I didn't take a photo showing the owner's name, but it was hand printed on the facing page, along with her address.  And in the corner, details of when and where the book came from.  There's something really sweet about this.  Makes me smile, anyway.

This week's finds are over at Me and My Shadow  Come & join in!


  1. What great finds! I love vintage books. Thank you for visiting The Squeaky Grocery Cart

  2. Goodness! That's a scary ex libris!!

    I love 'old book smell'. You don't get that on a Kindle :0)

    Thanks for linking up x

  3. I can't remember writing that verse on books, but probably did, as I remember a similar one we used to say as children (#Catholicupbringing):
    'Give a thing, take it back, God will ask you where is that?
    You say, you don't know, God will put you down below'
    Love your books, and well done from stepping away from the Enid Blyton!

  4. I love that little poem thing.
    Now you have set me off on the quest of vintage books and just when I was having a clear out and going for minimaist look lol


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