Saturday essay: Treasure books
Old books are a treasure, of course. And it's not merely for their subject matter.
There's nothing quite like an old book to gain a snapshot of the linguistics of the day; many words long ago common and well understood today are archaic and, in some cases, simply baffling, if not comical.
But it's not subject matter and linguistics alone that make old books the rare treat they are. Oftentimes it's what people have tucked into them.
Such was the case recently when out of a 1902 edition of “The Library of Historic Characters and Famous Events of All Nations and All Ages” (there's a mouthful, eh?) fell from between pages 138 and 139 a single page from the March 25, 1907, “Farm and Fireside Magazine and Feature Section.”
And it looked as if it had not been removed since.
There are brief essays on “Men worth while in history” — think Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne — on page 21 while page 22 is devoted to “The young people” with features on German Easter trees and “the annual Easter festival on the White House lawn” when Teddy Roosevelt was president.
Other books have coughed up assorted family treasures, too, including pressed leaves from various trees, myriad states and countries.
And a most prized possession was pasted into the inside cover of a collection of the works of Edgar Allan Poe — a very rare photograph, likely from the late 19th century, of the paternal grandparents' home known simply as “Warwood.”
Perhaps someday my grandchildren, yet born, will find a few treasures that their grandpa left behind in his library. Hint: There are more than a few.
— Colin McNickle
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Thursday wrap
- Kennametal retrenches: Behind the cheers
- Wilmerding parking warning
- Investing in Connellsville: Support new businesses
- Voter ID: Fake ‘burden’
- An M4 fix: Get on with giving our Army a better gun
- The DEA scandal: Larger issues
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: Classified dreamers
- Only in Ford City: More of the same
- U.N. Watch: Sanctions questions