Monday, 2 June 2014

Magpie Monday - Vintage Nature Books



I am that person who judges a book by it's cover.  I am resisting the conversion to an e-book reader, I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to abandon books for a Kindle.

These books are a case in point.  I chose them because they are beautiful.  It helps that the subject matter appeals to me, and I adore flicking through them. Information soaks in and next time I spot a new flower or bird in the forest, I can trawl back through my brain and put a name to it.

I remember being totally absorbed in the little Observer books as a child - both my mum and my Nana had lots and I would scan the pictures learning the names for fish, seashells and wild flowers.

Observer books for a time were hugely popular and collectable recently and their prices shot up, with charity shops reserving them for their glass cabinets, with glass-cabinet-appropriate-price-tags.

Now you might see them again back on the regular bookshelves, coming down to a more reasonable price.

The two I have here are battered and tatty, but I don't mind.  They remind me of my childhood.  Remind me of the long summer holiday I spent collecting and pressing wild flowers and recording them all in a little notebook with field notes, pencil drawings and identifications.  I won a headmistress's prize of a £1 book token I recall and was proud as punch.


The Ladybird book of British Birds and their nests is a joy too.  It seems to jog distant memories, so perhaps we had this when I was a child?  So many birds detailed that I remember being common garden visitors back then, but which you so rarely see nowadays - House Martins; Jays; Wrens and Bullfinches.  Where did they all go?



If you're a fan of Ladybird books, check out Ladybird Tuesday over at Being Mrs C.

Did you find any second-hand treasure this week?  Grab the badge and link up.

    

      



20 comments:

  1. wonderful book collection! I have some of the Ladybird ones and they conjure up happy childhood memories for me too. I'm a bit half and half about Kindle - fine for a novel, but I love looking out for old books, especially if they're illustrated. Can't ever see that changing x

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  2. I love old books and have a huge collection myself :)

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  3. I too am a lover of vintage books, children's book are my favorite. The illustrations in these vintage books are so wonderful.

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  4. You can't beat a book, something the kindle will never match.

    X x

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  5. I still haven't read a book on a device, all paper for me, very old fashioned. Have to say I haven't heard of observer books before.

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  6. Such an interesting read, Liz. Lovely to hear about your childhood and how you used the Observer Books to learn about nature. I wonder if I've still got some tucked away somewhere?

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  7. I love books with colour plate illustrations, they remind me of being a small girl, exploring the book shelves at my Grandparents house x

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  8. I can almost smell those books. Seems a shame that with the advent of the kindle finding things like this will be on the decline in years to come

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  9. I don't think I could ever switch to a kindle, I love the feel of a book in my hands

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  10. Fab collection! My Grandad had so many books like that - wish I had paid more attention when I was younger!x

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  11. I do use a Kindle/iBooks for PDFs and eBooks but things like this I would ALWAYS buy in a physical copy. You can never beat the feeling of a solid, old book in your hands. Just seeing a full bookcase makes me smile. Your books are gorgeous - especially the subject matter.

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  12. That Ladybird book is gorgeous! They had some really top notch book illustrators in the early days.

    I'm getting more interested in birds now that we have a more bird-friendly garden x

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  13. We have tons of those little observer books, Adams Dad gave loads to Miss M and she wanders around with them now! Mich x

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  14. Thanks for the link to Ladybird Tuesday. I don't need to tell you how much I love Ladybird books and IIRC this particular one was quite special as I think it was possibly the first non-fiction book they did, or something like that. It was definitely featured in the BBC4 programme on Ladybird books that was on over Christmas and I think that was why.

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  15. Ahh, they are gorgeous, and I am totally with you. Digital music I am fine with, but digital books are never going to happen in this house. Too many memories connected with the physical object. And you can't slip things between the pages of a Kindle, can you? xx

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  16. I don't think I will ever switch to kindle either...my husband loves his though.x

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  17. I love the books! I am currently on a book buying ban imposed by Mr G.. however..I have snuck a few in over the last week..haah! Will be checking out the Ladybird Tuesday too! x

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  18. I love all books for where they can take you but books that jog the memories are very special. My daughter is reading tmalory towers the same set i read age 6 shes loving them just as i did. Wonderful

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  19. beautiful collection of books! and gorgeous styling with the buttercups. i used to love nature themed books as a kid too, in fact spent a couple of summer looking around the meadow outside my mums house with half an eye on the book on common hungarian wild plants in my hand. whenever i get the chance i pick up an old illustrated nature book still on the thrifts... i have a feeling i might become one of those people when i get old, who sits in the garden with a bird book and a pair of binoculars, or like the Hemulin from the moomin stories, staring at plants with a magnifying glass :) thanks for hosting the link-up!

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