Sunday, 24 June 2012


I've always loved books.
My mum told me I could read a book from cover to cover at 3 years old. I'm not sure that's completely true. Just the feel and look of a book and the act of turning the pages as I read makes me happy. One of those electronic book readers doesn't have the same qualities.
When I moved house recently, I donated loads of books to the annual Library Book Sale, but I kept all the precious ones.

Above: The top two shelves of my bookcase. A collection of books, mostly obtained from used book stores, junk shops or Ebay purchases. The main topic? The history, geography and legends of my home county in England, Devon, and the West Country in general. And photos of course. My mother and her three sisters, Callum when he was a baby, and YoungerSon's wedding. And a tiny half timbered house from Alsace, a gift from The Equestrienne's sister who lives in France. Click to enlarge.

Above: the next two shelves of my bookcase. Books about Newfoundland, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand... some of my favourite places to travel. Top shelf on the far right.... two school projects I wrote about Canada when I was about thirteen. Books about quilts, stained glass, Shakespeare, photography. Bottom shelf on the right.... my collection of Rupert books.

Many years ago, my dad told me that he was the model for one of the characters in the boys adventure story book Devon Boys.
Victorian author George Manville Fenn (1831 - 1909) wrote this Tale of the North Shore in 1886 when my father was four years old, so it's unlikely that Dad was actually a model for the boys in the book, however, he had three older brothers who would have been close to the right ages. The story is definitely set in the area both my dad and I grew up, and my dad used to tell a story of boys playing with gunpowder with an unfortunate outcome, and a similar incident occurs in the book.
I wanted to find a copy of Devon Boys for each of my sons and I haunted used book shops and junk shops for years with no luck. Then one day I noticed a battered copy squeezed between old books on a shelf at an antique market. How much? Only $5.00. SOLD! Oooh! Such excitement! Finding the prize after searching for so long.... woohoo!
If the seller had known how long I had been searching for that book, he would have charged me more than double.
Now there are three copies of the book on my bookshelf. And if I come across another one, I'll probably buy it. I can't stop myself now.


  1. I've got books I just Keep for memory sake. My grandad was an AA man (Automobile Association in case someone thinks otherwise!) had a copy of the story of the AA...absolutely useless read, but I keep it because of its connection with him.

  2. Oh, my dear...I SOOOO understand that. And it's not something you can explain to people---it's just what you have to do!
    CONGRATS on find the ones you did!

  3. I love to read travel books, books about country life and biographies. I don;t have a lot of room to display all my books so sadly they have to remain in cupboards. How great you found the book you had been looking for.

  4. My goodness -what a lot of books you have! And such good ones too! Happy reading.

    Thank you for your encouraging comment on my post Chair Tai Chi. I will keep it in mind next time I go to the old folks home. Even though many may not be able to participate, if they can listen to the music and enjoy the moves, that will be something.

  5. I too love books! I wonder how many copies of Devon Boys you'll have by next year this time!

  6. Hurray for your Devon Boys books! That's fantastic how they were based in your hometown and quite possibly, most likely, based on your father and his brothers! Such a great story to pass down to your sons and their sons!

    PS: thanks so much for the inspiration...I almost went the whole month without posting, but finally wrote a little bit on my blog today. If you hadn't given me the little friendly nudge to get with it, I'm not sure I would have gotten out of my slump.

  7. Now that's a great idea, take pictures of your bookshelves and explain what's there. Hmmmm. Now you've got me thinking! :)

  8. Books make me very happy. I love the feel of them, the heft, the smell, the look (especially of older volumes), and a Kindle or whatever cannot ever compare in those ways. Just looking at my bookshelves is fun. And I always enjoy a look at someone else's shelves. Thanks!

  9. How very cool that you were able to find the copies you wanted. And even more so that they were based on your own Dad. That's a treasure. You might want to try eBay to acquire additional copies.

  10. Great post, Shammickite! Love seeing your bookshelves and also your family pictures.
    I am glad you found the book you had been looking for.
    I agree with you, Naomi's bookshelves are just incredible!

  11. What a fascinating bookshelf you have.
    I have to admit that most of my books are still packed away after our move 5 years ago. Can you believe it's been 5 years last Friday that we made our big move to our Forever Home?
    I think its fantastic that you have found copies of that cherished book. Hope you can find more.

  12. No need to be lonely when you have a book! However, when I finish a good book, I feel like I lost a friend!

    Loved to travel through your bookcase!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  13. I'm big on books, too. Purging overstock is difficult, but necessary. It's good that I can borrow from my library as much as I like, and I don't have to worry about superstacking the shelves at home. My wife would probably like to see me get rid of 90% of my dear books. Still, I know that lots of my friends have many more books than me.

  14. i love books, too. especially old and treasured books. yours look lovely!

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  16. Shammy....whaddya want to bet we may have been relatives in a distant past?! I, too, could read when i was three. And i was and am never so happy indoors as when I was/am reading a book (have added cooking and various odd kinds of art now, too). and my bookshelves even resemble yours a bit....the old photos in front, the way you have them arranged! Yay!


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