I try to spend time on Sundays with my mother, which gives me an excellent excuse to swing by the Book Thing. I am an avid reader and can easily go through a 200 page book in an evening, thanks to speed-reading classes in prep school. I also can't sit still without doing something, so I always have an upstairs book and a downstairs book handy.
Today's haul at the Book Thing yielded another Carlton Varney gem, complete with the cool dude 70's look on the cover. I got a mint condition copy of "Carleton Varney Decorates from A to Z". This is a great book, with descriptions and line drawings of everything from accessories to zingy colours. The wonderful thing about a book like this is that it won't be (too) dated, since definitions of things like Hepplewhite and Jacobean don't change over the years. This book has line drawings, as I mentioned, as well as a selection of full-colour photos. A-Z was published in 1977 and has a foreward by Paige Rense, the long-time editor of Architectural Digest.
Another book I picked up is called "When We Were Rather Older" a spoof on "When We Were Very Young" the A.A. Milne classic, complete with a selection of Jazz Age poems in the Milne style. One reason that I got it was that one of the authors is someone called Fairfax Downey. Also, the drawings are hilarious. This book was published in 1926 and aside from not having a dust jacket, is in great shape. Here's A.A. Milne's poem about daffodils:
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:"Winter is dead".
The Daffodil poem in this charming book reads thus:
She wore one day a yellow hat;
Along with it her greenest gown;
And when her best beau came to call,
She curtsied, sinking down.
He said "You're like a daffodil
On which the sunbeams shine."
She answered "Though that's sort of sill,
I rather like the line."
This will be a fun book to read through. I love having the Book Thing to visit. I should mention that all of the books at the Book Thing are donated and are not to be sold, so even though the fun books that I've gotten are free, I can't profit from them.
Top image: Trinty College Library, Dublin