Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Oldest Book on the Shelf

When I was young, my dad really encouraged me to read. My mom, too. And I am sure that a time or two they wished that I had never learned to love to read so much, because it was almost to the point that reading was the only thing that I wanted to do. We didn't have a TV during about 10 years of my childhood, and looking back, they were probably the best years of my life. I read everything that I could get my hands on. I would even read a book propped-up while I was doing the dishes. (not recommended!)


One of my favorite memories is of when I was still in grade school, my grandma made us this huge 36 gallon-sized bag full of caramel popcorn to eat during Christmas Break. Every chance I got, in between chores - which my parents thankfully made sure my brothers and I all had plenty of - I would go and get a big bowl full of this delicious treat, find my current favorite book, and go curl up on my bed and read to my heart's content. One of my favorite books ever is Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. My dad gave this book to me when I was about 11 years old, I think. If you have seen the movie you know that the playing time is about 3 hours. Long movie. If you have never seen an original copy of the book, like mine is, let me tell you, it is a very long book.

Without going and getting the book out of my 16 year-old daughter's room (she is currently reading it, and loves it, too) I want to say it is about 800 pages long, tiny print, single spaced with double columns on each page. I don't think I have ever seen another book laid out quite the same way.

This is the oldest book that I own, printed in 1936.


No, wait! The oldest book I own is a hymn book, printed around 1889. However, I have not owned it for nearly as long.
But that's a whole 'nuther story.


What's the oldest book that you own?

16 comments:

Melissa said...

It's official - you ARE my long lost twin. I too was a reader my whole young life. In fact, until just a couple of years ago, I had a book going at all times, and to be perfectly honest, I went through a period of time where I read Gone With the Wind at least once a year.
My oldest book is a dictionary from my Great great great grandfather. If I were home I would look at the copyright date.....
Now, I wish I had more time to read.

Jan the crazy lady said...

That is such a neat story. I think it's great to be a reader. I love Gone with the Wind.

I have a book in the 1800's. I can't remember the name of it, I bought it for looks. It is in German I believe. I love old books though.

Treasure yours.

Me said...

I too am an avid reader! I don't have any aged books. Although, I have copies of some classics. Does that count?

Annette Lyon said...

I need to buckle down and just READ Gone with the Wind. I never have--how sad!

I think the oldest book I own is a first edition Anne of Windy Poplars. Not my favorite LMM book by a long mile, but it's a first edition, so I'm not complaining!

Amber M. said...

Are you on GoodReads?? You should check it out. I love it because I can get good suggestions of books from my friends. I'm a crazy reader, too...so glad to hear we have that in common, too!

When we were home last, my dad gave me a couple of his books from when he was young...Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Both are 1946 editions. But that's the oldest I've got.

Jen said...

Sad to say that that is one book I WANT to read, but have not yet. Sad because it is a classic and I have not read it. I hope for the chance this summer- thanks for the reminder! That is old!

Mrs. Organic said...

I own a couple from the 30s. One of them is a family history of my husband's great-great-great grandfather. I love that falling apart book.

Grace said...

one of the oldest books i have was given to me as a child..."treasury of garden verses" It contains mostly poetry. I have always loved poetry and have written several poems.

sadly i am not a huge reader...well it really depends on the genre of the book...some books i can get through in a few days while others i just NEVER get read...they put me to sleep :)

i always liked shakespeare though...again..it's poetic

Debbie said...

I love the movie Gone with the Wind, but I have never read the book. From your description I think I will pass. I don't have very old books. I think the oldest book I own is The Scarlet Letter from the 60's.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kate said...

I remember when Gone with the Wind came out and I actually saw it at the theater. I loved it and I think I read it also. I don't know what book I own is the oldest, I know I have some old ones though. Have a super week.

VICKI IN AZ said...

Wow!
Now I want to go through all of my books to find out. What a great question!!
Thank you for your so sweet comments. I can hardly believe how much is happening in our home right now. Makes my head spin sometimes.
I cherish our friendship.

Lisa said...

I love Gone with the Wind. I so wanted to be a southern belle while growing up in New Jersey. I haven't read the book but loved the movie over and over again.

The oldest book I have is a bible from the late 1800's. It's very fragile and the one my grandmother was given to comfort her while she lay in a hospital waiting to die. She had to sneak reading it because she was in Nazi occupied Austria. Long story short she didn't die there but dedicated her life to finding God. She was the first to get baptized and my hero.

Lisa said...

Love your background!

Mina said...

I'll have to check out my books. I have a couple of old ones that were given to me by teachers over the years, and I'm guessing it's one of those. Either the Hobbit or Huckleberry Finn. I think. Nice post!

JustRandi said...

I think I have an old Deseret Songbook, but does it count if I'd RATHER it was Gone with the Wind?