Monday, June 11, 2007

A Focus on Books


A 'vintage home' wouldn't be complete without a good selection of vintage books, would it? I thought it was high-time I shared some of my old books with you - and the subject of books is very appropriate for me at the moment as I collected my new 'reading glasses' last week and at long last can have the pleasure of reading a book again! I think I was in denial for a while but my love of reading eventually drove me to the opticians and now I can be found sporting a pair of lilac-coloured glasses at reading time - well they had to be feminine didn't they?! - and any other time I need to check the small print!

One of my favourite books for 'dipping into' now and then is entitled 'House into Home' and was written by Elizabeth Kendall in 1962 - although you'd be forgiven for thinking it was written in the 1940s instead of the swinging sixties! it is full of wonderful old-fashioned advice and tips for furnishing, decorating, managing and organising your home. Every now and then I dip into it for a flavour of a bygone era. In her introduction to the book, Elizabeth closes the Preface with these words: 'Above all, I should like to thank my husband for his kind forbearance in letting me try to do three jobs at once'. This excerpt lets you know you're in for a real treat! Chapter 2 is my particular favourite and starts thus: 'When tired to tears after a day with a paint pot and with the clearing up - the worst part - still to do, I always say; "never again, I'll save up, give up smoking, anything, and have an interior decorator do the whole thing." But I doubt I ever will. Not that they aren't splendid chaps and worth the money they earn. It's a matter of temperament. To begin with, it's a fallacy to assume that these nice young men - and I've yet to meet one who wasn't competent, cheerful and charming - will relieve you of the responsibility...' They don't write 'em like that any more!

Apart from the obvious reason for buying books, I cannot help being drawn to the beautifully decorative dust jackets that old books have. It's amazing so many survive in such good condition. Classic childrens books are a wonderful example and carry fantastic illustrations...

...gardening books will always please the eye with their colourful displays of flowers and plants...

...this set of 'doctor' books were made into films in the 1960s - I love these illustrations!

I certainly intend to catch up with some reading over the Summer months - let's just hope I get used to carrying glasses around with me!