Friday, October 9, 2009

Ex-kept in books


"But as I look at all the cherishable, unusual, unexpected and simply beautiful little books on my shelves, held...loved...written in...with flowers pressed, letters hidden and tears stained...I'm afraid the ebook will never match that!" James Mayhew's point - about those things we keep between the pages of our beloved books?


Here are just a few mementos I found in one of my cherished books of childhood.


"Don't jump off of the roof dad, you'll make a big hole in the yard. Mother's just planted petunias, the weeding and seeding was hard..."
This book now belongs to my daughter.

It is now a book of a cherished child, complete with her first drawing of a wolf! And that dark thing, in the margin - that's a little gem.
What are some of the beloved things you've kept in your books?







25 comments:

pennygj said...

That ought to make the old devil over 'The Elusive Line'think twice!

Kate said...

Oh I always used to press flowers in favourite books so you could never be sure when a daisy or forget-me-not might fall out of one of them!

I also used to put little notes in them to my sister for when she borrowed the book

Kate x

Rachel Fenton said...

Ooh, I hope so, Penny! Hehe!;)


"Bring this book back, or else" - that sort of note, Kate? :)

I used to carry a wildflower guide around with me on walks and press the flower next to its illustration! I was a complete OAP of a kid! But I'm glad I did because, as you say Kate, it is lovely to have flower confetti fall out unexpectedly - impromptu reminder of a long gone sunny day -and this will all end if the e-reader becomes the staple of the rich kid's christmas stocking!

Will all books become things which are read inside - to avoid fear of theft/rainfall?

Sorry for the ramble!I clearly need e-reader therapy! Thank you for commenting :)

Tom Bailey said...

I connected to you through another blog.

These fary things remind me of things I used to draw as a kid. I would draw them being killed by Iron Maiden monster lookalikes.

You write VERY well.

Donna Hosie said...

What a beautiful and simple idea; I may start doing that myself. I never find anything in my novels except ancient bread crumbs and tea stains!

Rachel Fenton said...

Hullo, Tom, Thank you - nice of you to pop in! I bet you had your parents calling child psychologists after they saw your drawings!

Thank you! Ah, but those tea stains, Donna, they could tell a tale or two...books are so much more than words.

catdownunder said...

Oh purr! I love finding old 'paw prints' (so to speak) in books!

Rachel Fenton said...

Books are full of private histories - isn't it lovely? Thanks for leaving a paw print here, Cat.

Thomas Taylor said...

I like to leave post-its on my Kindle...

Not really.

I'm a great one for shoving ephemera into books. It started out as a way of providing myself with bookmarks (no one should actually buy a bookmark), but it's got a bit too self-conscious and anything that might be of interest in years to come is fair game. And I like finding such things in secondhand books that I buy. Even dry-cleaning slips and bus tickets become interesting if they date from the '40s.

And I have one book that my own mother scribbled in as a child, the vandal!

Rachel Fenton said...

Aargh! You just had to say it, didn't you?!!!

I love reading bygone scribbles and finding stuff in books! It's great to imagine who these people were - and more special when you know who they were!

But, what's that? You buy second hand books! You mean you don't download them? Ha! You traitor to the K,k,k,kkkk - nope, I just cannot bring myself to utter its name!

Thanks for that!

Jim Murdoch said...

I'm afraid I don't even have the books let alone the things that might be hidden within them. A few years ago my wife saw a set of Arthur Mee's children's encyclopaedias in the window of a charity shop and hauled them home for me (all ten volumes) because she'd heard me mention them many times. I hardly ever look at them but I love to see them in the bookcase. I spent hours on end trawling through those pages as a kid.

Rachel Fenton said...

You lucky blogger! I have very few childhood books myself but I never had a set like that, though I did have a few Beatrix Potters!

Thanks for that, and for the link :) And for saying "charity shop"!! Not "op shop"! Hurrah for charity shops...my husband's covering his face with embarrassment at me now! I'll stop commenting in my own comments box late at night when I'm too tired to moderate out my stupidity and feign sense!

Aspiring Writer said...

I can't remember half the stuff in my books except for flowers from my wedding, family weddings, poems and drawings by my daughter, and as to which book they're in, I have no idea. This is bad! Not to mention tea stains, crumbs, smudges, scribbles... However, I agree with Mayhew that an ebook will never match...all that history, nostalgia, surprises... And what a lovely book to pass onto your daughter... I have a few too.

Rachel Fenton said...

I have to say, Joanne, I have more tea stains in and on my books than pressed flowers!
I'm so glad you agree about the e-book. Sometimes it feels as if will will all be reduced to binary code!
Thank you for your lovely words :)

Thomas Taylor said...

Rachel, you might like James Mayhew's new blog:

http://jamesmayhew-dustyoldbooks.blogspot.com/

I'm sure he'd love to hear from you.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Thomas - I'll head on over there and take a squidge!

Lori said...

First of all, I don't know how your posts get quickly buried and lost in my list and I miss them. How did I miss this one? Such a beautiful one too.

I used to press a lot of flowers and leaves too and now I am getting into it again. I always thought that books should be filled with treasures, old photographs, old letters. I had a favorite book once, I used to perfume it. Might have been stinky, I don't remember.

Andrea said...

I also meant to comment on this post, but forgot! I love these pictures. Yes, pressed flowers and bits of leaves and plants in old books are also lovely.

I've slipped bits of writing into various books in addition to the flora!

Rachel Fenton said...

Awe, that's alright, Andrea! Thanks for popping back :) I imagine someone will get a nice surprise a hundred from now when they open one of your books!

James Mayhew said...

Hello Rachel-
I had to take a quick look - and it's great to read all the comments (especially those from that pesky Thomas!!!). Really enjoyed your blog, I'll be back soon!

J

Rachel Fenton said...

Hey, James, thanks!

Dominic Rivron said...

This isn't about me keeping things in books, but I once found an old photograph between the pages of a very old secondhand book I'd bought. It was of a small settlement of houses on the banks of a river.

It bugged me that I had no idea where it was. I asked around and it turned out to be the place a friend of mine was brought up.

Rachel Fenton said...

What a cool coincidence, Dominic! It makes a cool story, too. Thanks for popping in :)

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

We always used the big dictionary to press flowers ... thanks for bringing back that memory!

There's a local (to me) bookstore that posts pics of the items that have been found in used books brought in for sale. Some of them are, um, "interesting!"

Here's the link, if you want to take a look:
http://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/events/findarchive.htm

Rachel Fenton said...

Dawn, I just checked out the link, it's wonderful! I have saved it to faves and will be looking regularly. How great is that? Thank you :)