June 10, 2007

Today's Haul

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


  1. Ha, husband went to Trinity and that photo above is his favorite photo of all time, anywhere in the world. I love these vintage decorating books that you're collecting - they are very fun and also quite apropos. I have the Dorothy Draper "Decorating is Fun" and just adore its timelessness.

  2. I get pea-green with envy every time you discuss Book Thing! Sure wish we had something like that here. Love the drawing that accompanies the poem too.

  3. Isn't the Book Thing just awesome? I have not only found such cool stuff there, but also unloaded a lot of perfectly good books I can't use anymore.

  4. ^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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