Monday, March 11, 2013

Here's to a Midwest Publisher


One of many titles

Scanning through old books at antique stores is something that gives me joy.  Holding a well-used book and appreciating the hands that once turned pages fills me with happiness. 

Sometimes I find a real winner, like The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman.  The writer (The Country Contributor) preferred to remain anonymous, although she had written articles for Ladies Home Journal.  Her observations and honesty are rare now, let alone in her times, circa 1909.

And other times my finds are true disappointments.  The Farm Animals on Strike by A. H. E. Hoosier, published in 1923 by A.Flanagan Company, Chicago, Illinois, is one of these.    I tried to read it, but the book was an ill-disguised lesson on proper treatment of farm animals.  When the animals were speaking, it was entertaining.  But the moment a human started dialogue, the sentences were blogged down in verbosity.

One of many titles.

The thing is I truly wanted a real gem here, and in a way, I got more than I had hoped. 

There is a library card pocket glued on the inside cover. Taken from Port Allen Library, librarian’s peculiar cursive states the author, title, and book number.  The book was checked out on Feb. 5, 192-, by Jackie Forbes, followed by Patrice and Randy.  Tucked into the book are two 3X5 index cards.  One side of each has been mimeographed (remember that??) “Superintendent’s Check-Out Card”.

One of many titles

The teacher, Hazel E. Pine, was clearly closing down the school year, doing the mundane paper work which required that every book be accounted for and returned.  Necessary, but mundane work.

So, here I am, holding this old book.  I went to an archived site (included beneath the pictures) and found a collection of educational books published by A. Flanagan and other publishers.  Each book is accessible for on-line reading.  Definitely worth checking out, especially Mistakes in Teaching.  

Not exactly a gem, but maybe a gold mine from the past?






18 comments:

  1. Always great when you can come across such a find, never know where they've been, unless you get the card haha

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    1. Seeing a child's writing gave me a connection to the past.

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  2. Very interesting discoveries.

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    1. I enjoy finds in an antique store, esp. ones that lead to other discoveries.

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  3. Hi Susan,

    It's always an adventure looking at old books in antiques shops. I rather like the feel of real books and not something that is just an electronic image on my screen. Enjoy and savour those gold mines from the past.

    In peace and goodwill,

    Gary

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    1. Like you, I finding holding a book rewarding. I do use the Kindle when reading a huge book like the Bible, or Sherlock Holmes.

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  4. That's such a cool find! It's interesting what pieces of life books contain sometimes.

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    1. It is amazing to see a slice of time through the books.

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  5. Makes you wonder the journey of those books.
    Saw your comment at the A to Z Blog. You don't look like you have kids that are about fifty!

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    1. Heavens no! My kids are 30s, making me about 60, a young looking 60!

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  6. I love, love, love books. And well loved second hand books are among my favourites. I enjoy thinking about previous readers, and wondering whether they liked (or disliked) the book as much as I did. However, I really, really dislike people who annotate books in pen or ink. Particularly if they are correcting (often incorrectly) the author's grammar - or expressing racist/homophobic/sexist nastiness.

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    1. My husband is ever the professional science student. Whenever he read a science text of any sort, he underlines in pencil. I hate it, too.

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  7. The history of an old book can be more of a joy to explore than the book itself.

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    1. Exactly. Finding the papers tucked into the book are a bit of a life history.

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  8. It's a goldmine to someone. :)

    Old books can be really intriguing. I always wonder how many hands they've passed through!

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    1. So true--whose hands, did they enjoy the book, how many hands...

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!