Thursday, August 25, 2011

Used bookapalooza!

Anyone who knows me even slightly is aware that I have the tiniest smidgen of a book problem. An addiction really. They are my drug of choice. :) Anyway, when presented with a used book sale, well, that's even more fun than a store that sells new books, because you never know what will be in the piles. I also collect old books, and it's always fun to find inscriptions on the inside flyleaf or interesting bookplates affixed inside.

Today, I was charged with heading to the library to take a picture of the Friend's of the Library book sale. Once my job was done, I spent a few minutes perusing. And when you can buy a book for a $1, or eight books for $5, well, I was able to rack up those eight pretty quickly. The great thing was, I found one for each of my brothers and I found two for my mom as well (kids books were 50 cents apiece, so I picked up a few for my twin goddaughters, too).

But I found a few gems for myself, obviously. :) I'm a fan of old cookbooks -- the appeal is some amazing old-fashioned recipes (usually the desserts), along with some now-laughable ones that most modern cooks wouldn't want to make, let alone serve and eat (mostly those involving gelatin and things you should never encase in it), so coming across a 1938 copy of  Canadian cookbook called "A Guide to Good Cooking" compiled by the makers of Five Roses Flour was neat. It also includes completely fabulous illustrations like this:

Jellied chicken, anyone?

Another book I picked up is called "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall," subtitled "Invitation to Beauty," published in 1961. Written by a man named Gayelord Hauser, it is apparently a self-help guide-to-a-more-beautiful-you type of book, where he encourages women to attain their true beauty through healthy eating, caring for the skin, etc... It should be interesting to flip through, since some of the advice about food seems before it's time. I suppose I'm just going to have to read to find out about the "Scandinavian Complexion Secret" and whether I really can make my own cottage cheese. Unfortunately, I think it will always be a mystery to me why Gary and Ethel Patton decided to give this book as a gift to Don and Mary Black on July 26th, 1962:

But I was most excited about a two books, one published in the late 50s, the other in 1961, that look brand new. If they didn't have separate publication dates, I'd have sworn they were a set. One is "The Life of Christ" and the other is a book of Catholic prayers. 

Both are gorgeously illustrated. The Life of Christ has maps and an entire section devoted to Mary. The book of prayers includes prayers for every day, for each month, prayers dedicated to Our Lady and a number of saints and for the various sacraments, only for some reason, the sacraments of marriage and holy orders aren't included, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. I flipped through the sacraments section twice (why are there 12 pages of pictures depicting last rites?) before looking to the table of contents to confirm their absence. 

No marriage or holy orders?

Sure enough, they're not there. Why would they have been left out? Could it possibly be a pre-Vatican II thing? It seems like a rather glaring omission. Hmm...must research.

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