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Show Us Your Oldest Books

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by MrNewportCustom, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. The oldest book I own is a little more than a curiosity, it's a Latin tome by Ovid, printed in 1662. To my chagrin, I don't understand Latin (though I intend to learn it at some point)

    The oldest readable book in my small collection is a beautiful and interesting English book concerning the antiquities of the Roman empire, from 1708. Also very interesting is a schoolbook from 1811, natural history for the young reader, illustrated with pictures of various animals most of which the artist has obviously never seen in his life. lol

    I'll try to get some pictures soon.
    M Hatman likes this.
  2. Is there anyone on here that really, really knows antiquarian books?
    I have many very old books.
  3. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Familiar Face

    Depressing childrens' book from 1881:


    My wife supposedly has a couple 18th Century textbooks lying around the house, but they're lost in all the clutter.
  4. sportell

    sportell New in Town

    OOH! You have a reproduction of the Manasse Codex! *DROOL* I live about an hour from Heidelberg University, where it is stored. Supposedly they have it in a glass case and turn the page once a week or something, for people to view it. I have to visit it.

    As for this thread, I have a few cool books to post. I just need to wait another month or two for them all to be here in our home. One treasure is most of a 41 volume set of Goethe books from the 1800s. Germany was still printing in Fraktur at that point, so the writing is just gorgeous. I also have an early 1800s printing of Jacobite songs. I picked it up for an MA class paper and later found out how old it is.

    I used to love when our University library had its yearly book sale. They'd get rid of old books from the University and sometimes others would bring in stuff as well. I'd snag all the old history books I could. I love reading them and seeing how much wrong history used to be taught, like Columbus being the only one who thought the world was round. I also pick up old school books when I can and see how they learned languages and math. And then I'd be jealous that math 100+ years ago was easier than the evil stuff today. :eusa_doh:
    M Hatman likes this.
  5. my favorite old book (I don't have many) is a 1933 Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer. I still use many of the recipes. It was given to my mother by my grandmother, who then gave it to me.

    I also have a couple of cooking booklets from my grandmother during WWII.

    And I have what seems to be a vegetarian cookbook from 1922. I don't use that one much, but it's an interesting read. (too much of a carnivore, sorry)
    M Hatman likes this.
  6. rcfko

    rcfko Familiar Face

    My favourite old book is the first English edition of Larousse Gastronomique. It was first translated and published in English in the 60's, it is a 'go to' book in terms of French Cuisine. A new edition of this book is listed at $100 - $150. I lucked out at a used book store and got this vintage gem for $17.

    The information and instructions provided are on par with Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire (a.k.a. Escoffier The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cooking), only recently translated, which is known as 'THE BOOK' to students who are going through the 'Classical Cooking' portion of their education at the Culinary Institute of America. Now I'm just getting off topic :eek:fftopic: . I'm not supposed to be here to talk about cooking, I'm sure there are other sites for such talk.
    M Hatman likes this.
  7. I have older books, but my favourite is a first addition 1915 "The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke" by C J Dennis. I know it doesn't seem especially old, but it's a very important piece of Australian social history.
  8. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

    I have a couple, although nothing eye-wateringly ancient.

    "Poenamo" by Sir John Logan Campbell which are his sketches, drawings and thoughts on New Zealand when it was a very young country. First edition from 1881.

    "Jock of the Bushveld" by Percy Fitzpatrick. This was given to me by my grandfather and it was his as a child. It's a first edition from 1907.

    "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam". A 1909 edition which was my grandmother's and which I love.

    I'll try and take some pictures for the thread.
    M Hatman likes this.
  9. pgoat

    pgoat One Too Many

    Glad this thread came back - some fabulous books here!
    M Hatman likes this.
  10. Kahuna

    Kahuna One of the Regulars

    My oldest book is this biography of Abraham Lincoln. It was published in 1864 so it doesn't have the tragic ending to his story. Second oldest book we own is "The History of the Civil War in the United States" by Samuel M. Schmucker LL.D published in 1865 when it was still fresh news. Sorry for the reflection on the scan. The book is wrapped in plastic to keep it together.
  11. [​IMG]
  12. DigThatBeat

    DigThatBeat Familiar Face

    Star-Land by Sir Robert Stawell Ball, 1889 and Tannhauser: Ein Minnesang by Julius Wolff, 1890
  13. angeljenny

    angeljenny A-List Customer


    A few of my books - I find the Victorian era fascinating.

    The books in the photograph are:

    Sweet Counsel. A Book For Girls - 1865

    Stray Thoughts on Character by L H M Soulsby - 1906

    The Cult of Beauty by C F S Thompson - undated

    English Maiden - Her Moral and Domestic Duties - 1844

    Things a Lady Would Like to Know by Henry Southgate - 1880

    Advice to Young Ladies by T S Arthur - 1850

    The Ladies Book - undated

    I also have 12 Girl's Own Annuals from between 1880 and 1900 as well as quite a few Victorian fiction books - the moral kind aimed at children.
    M Hatman likes this.
  14. Kahuna

    Kahuna One of the Regulars

    Just found this book at a Friends of the Library booksale last night for $2. Since it was published in 1781 it trumps my previously oldest book by more than 80 years.
  15. GoetzManor

    GoetzManor Familiar Face


    Picked this up at an antique shop for $7. The book is dated 1901. This book isn't in perfect condition, but still holding up well enough to read cover to cover.
    I also picked up a Home Physician's book from 1907 I believe. Got it from a university library book sale. Looking at some of the ailment names from back in the day are really interesting.
  16. -30-

    -30- A-List Customer

    "Is there anyone on here that really, really knows antiquarian books?
    I have many very old books."
    QUOTE: Foofoogal.

    You might try:


    to gather "What, where, and how much?" Or, if you would want to read-only or as I now do "possess"

    as in download to a thumb/disc drive, a great many books of present/historical interest:


    I have collected many (70' of "Dead Wood") over the years (Toronto & Mechanical history) and now find that having,

    eg $500.00 tied-up in a book that is now online, rather a waste of time/money, no matter the great personal satisfaction

    of their retrieval from the shelf.

    But each to their own.

  17. We have that exact book at my mother's house -- read it and you'll learn more about McKinley than you ever thought you wanted to know.
    M Hatman likes this.
  18. I've collected books off and on for several years.


    The four volumes on the bottom are a printing of The Spectator from 1855. I also have a complete four volume set of The Tattler printed in 1804. The top volume in the picture is a biography of Philip Henry, the Father of Bible commentator Matthew Henry. This book was printed in 1711.


    Somewhere in it's life it was rebound albeit sympathetically.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  19. Bushman

    Bushman Call Me a Cab

    Besides a stack of musty, falling apart bibles that belonged to my Great Grandmother that SHE brought over from Poland, my oldest novel is an original first edition of Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea", which was gifted to it's previous owner before he went on safari in Africa.
    M Hatman likes this.
  20. Bump to a cool old thread from a fellow bibliophile.....a couple of picts from my main library.
    My library is quite Victorian, with books and "interesting things" everywhere present.....
    I love to collect and READ old books ( and some new ones). Most of my collection is non-fiction, though I do have some sets of fiction works from the greats ( like Twain, Dickens, Hawthorn, Kippling, Cooper, Hugo, Dumas, Thackeray, Balzac et al).......yep.....I love holding the book in your hand and reading.....quite anouther world than where we are now, I am afraid.........
    1508876194350946927704.jpg 15088763111441464881612.jpg 15088763582011053541136.jpg

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