Autumn 2017

Autumn 2017

Thursday, May 5, 2011

vintage children's books and libraries

I have several old books handed down to me from my mother.   I love the look of antique books.  I love the worn pages, the beautiful print and colours of the drawings.  I love the smell.  Do you remember the smell of library books?  It's a kind of old, dirty, dusty, many hands have handled them kind of smell. 

Every time I smell a library book I'm brought back to the old Moncton library on Highfield Street.  It was in a big old Victorian house with long windows, old creaky wood floors, long wooden tables and chairs and rows of shelves filled with books.  I remember the file drawers with all the little cards for the books.  I remember taking my book to the desk for the librarian to sign out.  She would pull the card from it's pocket inside the cover and stamp it with the due back date then slip the card back in.  Yes, I can still smell that library.  It was torn down and a new modern library was built in it's place.  It didn't have the same charm or smell or creaky floors but the books still smelled the same.  The library was moved again to another part of the city, down on Main Street I think. I can't go back and visit the old library of my childhood but the smell of a library book will take me back once again.

This book cover reminds me of the Dick and Jane books of grades 1 & 2.
It is a larger paper back book with beautiful pictures and a sweet story.

This is a book of cut out dolls or paper dolls from 1919. I think
it might have been my mother's book.

On the left page are the dresses and hats to cut out and on the right
page one could colour the same outfits, which has been done.

There are 4 dollies and only one was ever cut out with a coat and hat
laid on her.  The dollies names are Helen, Alice, Elsie and Dorothy.

This is a sweet book printed in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

There are several scenarios of poetry that follow the bear family through
the day from morning til night and some beautiful drawings to go  with the story.

This book is from 1887 and is a collection of stories and poetry
for children although I thought some of them seemed rather mature
for young readers.

The cover is beautifully done with a lot of detail.

All the drawings are illustrated in "Mono Tint" so it says on the front page.

These are a few of the old oilcloth type nursery rhyme books from the 1940's.
I love the sweet characters and animal drawings.

This book is by a New Brunswick author, Desmond Pacey.  It was
 my husband's book and I remember we had one when I was a child
too.  I imagine a lot of children in New Brunswick had this book.

It was published in 1952 by Brunswick Press. Fredericton.

Those are a few of the old books I have.  They sit on a shelf collecting dust,
and smell like old library books when you open them up.  They just don't
have those plastic dust jackets like the library does.

I suppose they will sit there until someone decides to toss them out someday.
I don't know that they would have any value but it would be nice for someone
to enjoy them don't you think?  Sadly, I didn't let my children read them
because I thought they would be ruined or torn or coloured in.

I have found some of my children's books that had some scribbles with crayon
in their pages.  I bet you have too. :-)

I hope you enjoyed your 'library' visit.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! 

I am joining Debra for Vintage Inspiration Friday.




  1. Oh! I love this post. So nice to see old children's books. I love the bright colors and simple pictures. I have an old cloth book I should take pics of before it falls apart.


  2. I have never seen such a delightful collection of old children's books. Thank you for sharing so many of the lovely pages with us. Your old books are treasures indeed!

  3. I loved to go to the library every saturday when I was a girl. It had a profound impact on me. Your reminiscence took me right back there! You do have some wonderful books. I still love paper dolls!

  4. I absolutely LOVE vintage children's books. My favorite ones are the ones about horses and ponies. My three year old and I read them all the time even though I usually handle them! Enjoyed the post!

  5. Do you know? I'm JUST the same with old books. I always smell the inside pages. There's just soemthing about the smell of vintage books that takes me away to another time. Thank you so much for sharing these, they look LOVELY!


  6. Love this post. Your old books are a wonderful treasure. Maybe your grandchildren some day will enjoy them. The paper doll book was especially fun to see.


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