I took the time to go through www.Invaluable.com’s stacks and look for some of these very titles and see if these treasures might be hidden amongst the many gems they have gathered at their site. Listed below are a few of my finds, as well as a few finds that I think any reader who loves the older classic books of the 1800’s and early 1900’s would love to read and add to their personal library.
Here's the books link: http://www.invaluable.com/
Though not the same “scholar’s edition” that my aunts taught out of at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s, every serious reader needs a complete collection of Shakespeare. I started reading Shakespeare to my children early. I took The Princess Bride seriously and found “the good parts” and we read those together. What six or seven-year-old boy doesn’t like the sound of “double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and caldron bubble.”? By high school, they had heard and read enough Shakespeare not to be afraid of him. We still enjoy a little Shakespeare, he’s good for the soul (and the ear).
MOBY DICK by Jim Melville
Okay, I never quite made it through this tomb, but it was in my Aunt’s stack. At age fifty-eight, my dear husband, Fred, finally marked Moby Dick off his bucket list of books to read (once) before he dies. Though a classic and full of much analogy and metaphor. This story is a true gothic novel that gives War and Peace a run for it’s money in the fortitude it takes to read solo.
A Collection of Children’s Literature This collection of books from an estate library reminded me very much of the library that came packed in those china boxes many years ago. They were a mismatched collection of authors and styles that would appeal to many boys and girls longings for a book to read. This was especially true for those children who lived in an isolated area where books were not readily available, and libraries were those places you read about in cities and rich peoples’ homes. My Aunt Gen’s library came out west with her in a box on the train from back east to New Mexico where she came to teach high school. She was limited in what she could bring by what could fit in her box of books, so her choices were carefully made. A selection, such as this would have fit in one or two boxes, much like she would have brought with her. Arabian Nights, Longfellow Poems, A Tale of Two Cities, Kidnapped, Black Beauty, and more
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
James Whitcomb Riley was the folk poet and story-teller of the turn of the century. His stories were much loved by Americans as they reflected their attitudes about life. Many were wistful, but many were full of their love of God and Country.
I came across a complete set of his works several years ago and was able to present it to my mother. It was from his books, and prints in magazines that my grandmother would read us his stories and poems when we were growing up. Our favorite reading was one about the great bear hunt, as told by two little boys. The further along the story got, the bigger the bear and the story became. Over the years, it became a family tradition that grandmother recite it at family gatherings. I think that her telling became bigger and larger with the years, also, but we all loved to sit and listen to the yarn grow. http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/james-whitcomb-riley-armazindy-1894-author-signed-2108-c-e364490b6d
I love an old book. There is nothing like the feel of the pages as they turn beneath my fingers. There is nothing like the smell of the old, moldering pages wafting up and taking me to places unknown. Books have always been my friends. They have swept me across the continents and through the ages. Under their spells, I have been a pauper and a princess. I have felt the ecstasy of being anyone I dreamed I wanted to be. They brought me my best dreams and left me fighting up out of my worst nightmares.
Thousands and thousands of authors through the ages have spilled their heart’s blood on the pages of books in a hope that their dreams and tales would be read and shared for ages to come. Thanks to the written word, we have the gift of being able to read and re-read those words of ages past and to share them on with future generations. I am so thankful that my family has shared their love of the written word and passed this love down through our generations like a cherished jewel. In this day of electronic quick and easy, there is still nothing as long lasting as the written word.
This fact was poignantly brought to a point by our daughter and her carrying on of the family tradition as she works on the final chapters of her Ph.D. in linguistics and psychology in Ancient Near-Mid-Eastern Languages. She has had the privilege of studying and deciphering the puzzle of the written word from thousands of years ago. Our most treasured discussions are about her work and the puzzling of languages through the ages. Her greatest joy is handling and translating these ancient words from the sands of time.
I know that Invaluble.com has far more than these few treasure amongst their stacks. After visiting with Ryan, one of their staff, I feel that there is always someone there that will assist me in locating what I am looking for. I wish I had known about places like this when I was looking for that special book set for my mother or dad in years past. Having a quality auction marketplace at your fingertips when looking for that special book would have made the looking easier and the hope of finding a quality piece at a reasonable price even better.
Be it a new heirloom of a child’s story to be passed down with time, or a treasured book someone speaks of with a sigh, books are still our favorite gifts to give and receive. A precious volume of great value to the gift giver and the recipient is one that will always find a special place on a library or bookcase shelf in any bookworm’s home.