Old Books: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

“Old books exert a strange fascination for me — their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.” 
― Lauren Willig

“Books aren’t eggs, you know. Simply because a book has aged a bit doesn’t mean it’s gone bad.” There was now an edge to Monsieur Perdu’s voice too. “What is wrong with old? Age isn’t a disease. We all grow old, even books. But are you, is anyone, worth less, or less important, because they’ve been around for longer?” 
― Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop

“Although she was a logical, practical person, she believed that in books there existed a kind of magic. Between the aging covers on these shelves, contained in tiny, abstract black marks on sheets of paper, were voices from the past. Voices that reached into the future, into Claire’s own heart and mind, to tell her what they knew, what they’d learned, what they’d seen, what they’d felt. Wasn’t that magic?”
― Christi Phillips, The Devlin Diary

“Old Books Smell Of: A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying muskiness.” 
― Chemists of the University College London

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” 
― C.S. Lewis

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© irene waters 2018

In response to Cee’s fun prompt book or paper

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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21 Responses to Old Books: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

  1. Charli Mills says:

    I love this collection of old books and quotes, Irene!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a wonderful collection of old books, Irene. I like the way you’ve photographed them and the quotes you’ve selected. The end papers alone are masterful, something rarely done nowadays.

    We own a number of very old books, including my husband’s family’s old Bible, a thumb sized dictionary with a leather cover my grandmother gave me, and a beautiful set of six books Bob’s mom bought used for her children. Each of these is illustrated with gorgeous paintings on the topic – flowers, birds, trees, etc. I also have a rare book called Joyce Stranger’s Book of Hanak’s Animals, a collection of exquisite Asian-style watercolor paintings by Hanak combined with charming poems about each animal, written by Stranger.

    When possible, I collect autographed books. For all these reasons, digital books will never take my heart away from traditionally published ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. syncwithdeep says:

    These are amazing treasures. The smell, the rustic feel whilst turning the pages wowow.. Cant express in words

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an interesting collection of books and quotes. I especially like the C.S Lewis one as I have my favourite books that I often go back to even if only to read a particular chapter again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your old book collection, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Miriam. I love the old ones and I love the history I wish they could fully share.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Irene. I like the classic books, movies, and music. The contemporary ones are not quite the same. I went to a bookstore, the speaker was playing the classical music. The young cashier said, “It sounds nice but I don’t know too much about it.” I like to see the younger generation learn to appreciate the classics.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think there is a place for both. Some modern music/books will become classics while others won’t survive the test of time. I find it interesting to try and work out what makes something become a classic (survive over time) and I think there has to be something about it that is still as meaningful today as when it was created. For younger people it depends what they are exposed to early but I think readers, artists, musicians all eventually make it to the classics. I hope so anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right, it depends on what the young people are exposed to at their young age. My daughter recognized the music of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty because she was watching the Disney movies and remembered the music. As a young adult, she likes some classical music, ballet, and a couple operas. I started liking them as a teenager naturally without family influence. I couldn’t figure out why but I’m glad it happened.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cee Neuner says:

    Oh Irene, you have some great book photos. I love your old book 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. noelleg44 says:

    I love the craft that went into old books – they are an art form in themselves, which you captured so well with this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Val says:

    Great, and I most like the last quote.
    I love books – any age – but can no longer live with some very old ones as I seem to be allergic to the must or mould or whatever they have – it gives me asthma. So I cherish the very few I have still but can’t open them often.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. colinmathers says:

    I picked up a book “In search of CS Lewis” about CS Lewis with chapters written by various of his friends, colleagues and pupils. I was quite astonished to read about his extraordinary memory for books he had read. He once told someone that he remembered everything he ever read and it was a curse, because bits and piece kept cropping up in his own writing. He had a library a bit like Dad’s with bookcases on all the walls floor to ceiling. He would entertain his friends by asking one of them to go to the bookcases and pick a random shelf, then pick a random book and open it to a random page. He would ask them for a number, then tell them to read that line on the page. He would then tell them the name of the book and could usually quote the rest of the page.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it is a real problem for those who can remember well – Helen Keller was accused of plagiarism for that reason. She had a well developed memory because of her blindness and apparently a book had been read to her in early childhood which she didn’t remember but the story came out in something she wrote at college much later in life. She suffered dreadfully when she was found guilty of plagiarism having no memory of having been read the story but it was obviously spinning around in her head. It was one of my big fears with my thesis because you might not have the book in front of you and not realise you are paraphrasing or even using the same words as a scholar you might have read. Lucky we have the plagiarism program and I didn’t but it worried me the whole time whenever I wrote something. Good party trick though for CS Lewis. I know people who were in awe of Dad trotting off to the library to get exactly the right book to demonstrate his point and that wasn’t a shade on Lewis.


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