Sometimes I look at the overflowing bookshelves (not to mention the piles of books that either need shelving or form the ‘To Be Read’ pile), and think that I really, really need to be brutal and dispose of some of them. Then I change my mind, and the books continue to overflow.
Over the last couple of months I’ve been involved in a local project centering around food, allotments and recipes. And – lo and behold! – on one bookshelf I found these two books, which proved excellent sources:
“The Wrinkle Book” by Archibald Williams, published in 1920. This was a wedding present for my maternal grandparents (who were married in 1924), and contains a wealth of information on running a home, as well as such varied topics as planning an allotment, advice on a variety of legal matters and self-defence.
“Cookery Illustrated” by Elizabeth Craig. This copy seems, from internal evidence, to date from early 1940 and contains (amongst much else) detailed instructions on how to construct and use a hay box for ‘fuel-less cookery’.
Both books also have collections of newspaper clippings of recipes and household hints.
My latest project concerns the Victorian pauper apprentices. And scouring the bookshelves this morning for any background information which I may already have, I came across this, which I cannot recall buying:
“Human Documents of the Industrial Revolution in Britain” by Royston Pike. It appears to have been bought in a library sale in the early 1980s, but why and where I bought it I have no idea. Again, it’s packed full of useful information.
My New Year’s resolution for 2015, therefore, has changed from “Dispose of books which appear to be of little interest” to “Never throw a book away again.”
This is one resolution which I might just manage to keep.