Jodie, over at Words Read and Written, posed the question today, “Which book has been on your shelves the longest? Which book has survived all your clean outs, trips to the second hand bookstore, book swaps, and garage sales?”
This could take hours, but I limited my search to a brief trek around the house, and found: My dad’s 1926 edition of Britannica–I don’t remember it ever not being in our house. A few of my oldest SciFi books–The Year After Tomorrow, by Del Rey, et al. Some of my early books on chess by Chernev. A dictionary given to my mother by her father before I was born.
The greatest treasures I uncovered tonight were Winnie the Pooh and a book of poems by A A Milne, with my name and “Christmas 1944,” carefully inscribed on bookplates in my dad’s finest penmanship.
I remember my mother reading to us out of Winnie the Pooh, probably this same copy. I must give her credit for preserving these last two books; they spent about fifteen years safely stored among her own.
I can’t imagine many fathers taking the time to tip in and so neatly inscribe a bookplate for a child barely old enough to read. Today, there’s not even a place to stick a bookplate on a e-book.