Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Comfort of Old Books

Something that I dearly enjoy is reading old books. My collection started off w/my dear Bigmom's (maternal gr-ma) copy of her McGuffey's Second Reader.
I can still hear her reciting some of her favorites...

Once there was a little kitty,
White as the snow;
In a barn he used to frolic,
Long time ago.
In the barn a little mousie
Ran to and fro;
For she heard the little kitty,
Long time ago...

She passed away in 1977, at 90, and could still recite so many of the stories until shortly before she died.

So, as the years progressed I added more to my humble colletion. Then, as I started homeschooling my daughters, I began collecting antique school books and we have actually used many as a part of our schoolwork. The McGuffey Readers and Ray's Arithmetic, especially. I even wrote about these as the subject of one of my The Old Schoolhouse columns "The Lesson Planner" in '08.

Most of the antique books I keep displayed on an antique school desk that my Daddy refinished for me.

It's a little crowded right now, but until Ty builds (or buys) me the bookshelf he's been promising me for the last several years (eh-hem), it will remian in this little corner of the living room w/my hammered dulcimer music books and other books stacked around it. It's so nice to just pick up the 1894 leather-bound volume of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and even though I have an entire set of reproduction McGuffey's I still like to look through Bigmom's or even the Fourth Reader I have that someone wrote "Feb. 20th, 1896" inside the cover. When we want an older view of Ohio history we can turn to our 1933 volume of "History & Geography of Ohio."

I have often thought what my Bigmom and my Grandpa C. would have thought of our homeschooling. I remember having conversations w/both of them about how odd it seemed to me that they had to BUY all of their schoolbooks! It was so foreign to me! Wouldn't they laugh if they knew that WE had to BUY all of our schoolbooks? lol

There's nothing like an old book - even if it's a reproduction. Holding a bit of history in your hands, especially when it had belonged to someone you loved, makes learning more enjoyable and even more interesting. Not only to me, but it did to my daughters, too. How cool I would have thought it to be to actually be learning out of the same book MY gr-grandmother used in HER schooling?! I'm glad my daughters had that privilege.

How special.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><


  1. Very special! I love the picture with all of your books on the desk. Don't you just love the way an old book smells?

  2. What a special post, Kim! I, too, enjoy reading old books. I don't have very many in my collection...and definitely no textbooks that belonged to my grandparents. I homeschooled our two children for a year, and then taught in our Christian school when it opened in our church. I'm drawn to history books and biographies and have several of those on about a 4th grade reading level. I certainly enjoy your blog.

  3. I, too, am a fellow old book lover. I have found mine mostly in second-hand book shops and each one is a treasure. My children are adults now, but I enjoy reading them to my grandchildren. I recently came across two G. A. Henty books--that was exciting, as they are the first in my collection! Thank you for this post (smile).

  4. I love your collection of Classic Education books. I am really just beginning to embrace the lost teaching tools of the 1800's. I want to collect the McGuffy Readers and Spellers for my children and hopefully they will past them to theres. Thanks for sharing these lovely pics.


Related Posts with Thumbnails