Feb 23

Thursday Favorite Things: Old Books

Books have always been very special to me. As a little girl, we did not have books in our home, so when I went to school and learned to read, I became fascinated with the treasures that are held within the pages of a book. In elementary school I discovered the library and was so excited to be able to have books that I could actually take home with me! From that time on, I have been completely devoted to collecting books, both old and new. Whenever I have the opportunity to obtain a book that is “new” to me, it just seems like I have achieved an amazing gift.

When I was in high school and had the opportunity to earn a bit of money, I began to purchase books. For some reason, even though I did not grow up in a family that emphasized reading, I gravitated to the classics: I love Charles Dickens, and even found myself fascinated with the writing of Ernest Hemingway. As time went on, I discovered more authors such as the Bronte sisters, and my absolute favorite of all time is “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte. I love Louisa May Alcott and “Little Women,” and eventually I found my way to the works of George Eliot, Anne Bradstreet, and Emily Dickinson.

Then I was fortunate enough to take a few college courses where I was immersed in Shakespeare, as well as other British literature, including “Middlemarch” by George Eliot,and “Clarissa” by Samuel Richardson. Eventually I launched into my Medieval Period where I became completely engrossed in Beowulf, the Canterbury Tales, Mort de Arthur, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The life of Margery Kempe, along with various lives of the saints, kept me engrossed in the history and culture of Medieval Europe.

That led me back to classical Greek and Roman literature including Oedipus Rex, The Iliad and The Odyssey, the Oresteia and all of the tragic implications in the stories of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon, Orestes, Iphegenia, Antigone, and Electra.

Pilgrim’s Progress, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” and the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning filled my mind with wonder! Later on I would discover the writings of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Socrates,  Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Kant, John Stuart Mill, and Wittgenstein. Lately I’ve been reading a series of historical novels about World War II and the Nazi occupation of Europe; the stories of the Jewish people and the tragedies so many of them endured has burned their images into my heart.

So today, my favorite things are these old books that I have collected over the years. One is “Ivanhoe” by Sir Walter Scott, another is “The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens, and another is “Tanglewood Tales” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I have also read “The Scarlet Letter,” “The Minister’s Black Veil,” and “The House of the Seven Gables” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. One of the old books in my collection is The New McCall Spelling Priner, as well as McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book, copyright 1879, which has fascinating writing on the front and back end papers from one of its previous owners. In the very back is written in pencil: “I like coffee, I like tea, I like you if you like me. Down to the river, down to the sea, with my girl and me.”

There is also “The Tale of Two Cities,” by Charles Dickens, copyright 1899, as well as “Julius Caesar,” with the only date being handwritten in the front pages, “1913, Lansing, Michigan, English IX, Room 732.” There was discovered inside this book a piece of lined paper, folded in half, which is quite yellow with age and rather stained and tattered on the edges. On it is written the assignments for “Monday: Review of Julius Caesar, Text, Quotations, Shakespeare’s life, Elizabethan theatre and its origin.” Just a tiny peek into the life of someone nearly 100 years ago, which I find fascinating!

If you would like to join us this week for “Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop,”  please visit “Katherine’s Corner” and leave a link to your post about your favorite things. There you will also be able to find links to the other participants so you can visit them, too. Please be sure to leave a comment so they will know you stopped by!

Have a great Thursday, Nina







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  1. Jacqueline

    I am stopping by from Voiceboks and may I say what a pretty blog you have? I love old books too! I could spend hours in a REAL old book store and have several first editions. I am so glad someone else loves them the way I love them.

  2. Evelyn

    Yes, my old books are my old friends that I can visit anytime I wish, they always have time for me:) I have always loved books, old and new:) I have been blog hopping on the Thursdays Favorite Things Blog Hop and I have learned so many things from so many amazing and talented people. I am following you and would love a follow back:)

    My Turn (for us)


    Thanks so much, I sure enjoyed the visit!

    1. Nina

      Hi Evelyn – I am so glad you stopped by! Yes, I’ve been participating in the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop since the beginning, as Katherine is a very special friend of mine ;o) and it has been a wonderful experience to get acquainted with many new friends and learn so much from the other women whom I have encountered through this weekly journey. I’m on my way to visit you right now and I look forward to connecting again soon! Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

  3. Tara @ Going Small Town

    I love this collection! I have always wanted old books although mine would not have as much meaning. What a special thing to hang on to and always have.

    1. Nina

      Thank you for stopping by Tara – I am on my way right now to visit your blog . . . . . I am a “small town” girl, too, so I know I will be delighted with your blog. I hope you will stop back again soon! Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

  4. Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club

    I love books too! Especially to hold them in my hands still, and turn the pages. I hope we never lose that with all of our technology! What is this music from? I just can’t remember right now, but I love it:)

    1. Nina

      Hi Courtney – thank you so much for visiting me and leaving a sweet comment. The music on my blog is always something mellow and peaceful, so I sometimes have classical or instrumental music. This month I have some songs by Celtic Woman which, to me, is some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard! I hope you will stop by again soon ;o) Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

  5. Ricki Jill Treleaven

    I love old books, and your collection is amazing!


    1. Nina

      @ Ricki Jill – thank you so much for stopping by again this week. I’m on my way to visit you this morning, so will connect with you again shortly. Have a great Friday, Nina

  6. Perspective Parenting

    Books really are wonderful. I always have a pile hanging out on my nightstand and I read them all at different times depending on my mood. Its like having a friend to hang out with and getting to choose when and how much time you spend together. I may be the only one who I know who hasn’t turn to the digital versions yet. I just like the feel of them.

  7. Regina

    I love old books too. I’m not one to keep a lot of books because I have moved so much. I have an old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and my grandma’s old bible.

    I love going to the library and looking at the old historical books. There is so much history in them, a easier time before technology. 🙂

  8. Karen Dawkins

    My husband collects old medical books. He has a couple first editions, but most are just old books. We have looked up a few “maladies” through the years and laughed at the old ways of treating things. Not sure that medication is always the better treatment option, but I’m thankful we’re beyond slugs and other strange remedies!

  9. Rosann

    Nina, have you seen the movie Midnight In Paris? If not, you would LOVE it. My husband and I just watched it for our date night movie last weekend. It’s got so much reference in it to the classic authors, such as Hemingway, etc… That was the first thing I thought of as I was reading your post. We are also book lovers in our home. 🙂


  10. katherines corner

    I voe books!!! Old new, read, reread, donated found…..Thank you for linking to the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop linky party. Big Hugs and smooches and wishes for a beautiful weekend. P.S. Did you get your entry in for the sweetheart giveaway?

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