Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Joy of Books

It's no secret that I love books.  For as long as I can remember, I've loved books, and they've been such an important part of my life.  In fact, I met my future husband in a bookstore where I was working part-time.  He came in to look for a book, and he found me.  :)

I can't imagine a home with no books in it, can you?  It would seem rather cold and impersonal to me.  Not only do I enjoy reading books, I love the way they look and feel.  I have a Kindle, and I've finally started using it.  It's certainly convenient, but it could never replace "real" books for me.

You've probably seen this book all over blogland by now, but I'm sharing it today just in case you haven't yet seen it.  I first saw it Here on Vee's blog, "A Haven For Vee," back in the fall, and then it just kept popping up on blogs for several weeks.  At the moment, this is the only Susan Branch book I own, but I'll have to keep a lookout for her books now.   

"A Fine Romance" is the story of how Susan Branch and her husband celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, after which they spent two months wandering the English countryside.

The book looks nice without the dust jacket, as well.  :)

I love that it's handwritten and illustrated with her own watercolors, as well as lots of photographs.

The author has taken great care with every little detail.

The endpapers are charming...

...as are the index and the table of contents.

This is a beautiful little book, especially if you've ever been to England or would like to go someday.  It even includes recipes, maps, and travel tips.  You can purchase "A Fine Romance" at Susan Branch's website and Here at Amazon.com.

I have a very small collection of leather-bound books.  They really are treasures.  Most of them I purchased with my employee discount when I worked at the bookstore.

I love the tooling on the cover,

and the gilt-edged pages.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

And finally, a favorite book that my parents gave me when I was about ten or twelve years old.  I guess it might be considered vintage now (depending on your definition of vintage).  ;)

The classic story of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

More pretty endpapers...

I adore these beautiful illustrations by Louis Jambor.  I wasn't able to find a lot of information about Louis Jambor online.  He was a Hungarian-American painter, and you can read a little bit about him Here.

I saw some of these books on e-bay; they look a lot like mine, and they're not valuable in monetary terms.  But this particular book is priceless to me.  :)

You can see I have a separate category at the top of my Home Page for books.  So far, I've only posted about a few books here, but I plan for that to change this year.  There are few things I enjoy more than sharing my favorite books with friends.

What are some favorite books in your home?  Do you ever re-read your books?  Thanks for stopping by today -- I do love your visits!

I'm joining Marty, at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday.  Hope to see you there.



  1. Ok Denise, more similarities --guess what book I'm reading? I've had it awhile but am spending more time with it; I'm sort of savoring it, little by little to spread out the joy a bit. I have one or two other of her books. I bet you could find them cheaper on ebay or half.com (guess that's ebay now). I wondered if she actually wrote the whole book by hand or does she have a font on her computer created from her handwriting? Love how she writes, both the penmanship and words. Also I have a little Dutch (actually a row of them) house as you have there on the side table. And yes, I believe we are getting snow--the weather says 100% chance so I'll believe them. It sure is cold! Enjoy the storm if you get it (only in the south would we say enjoy a storm.)

  2. I love your copy of Little Women. The illustrations are beautiful. Little Women holds a special place in my heart. Jo's Boys, Little Men ( can't remember the order) were all wonderful for a young girl to read.

    I miss reading real books. Afraid I stay on the computer too much.

  3. OK, I was about to yak on about the first book. Then I saw the Dickens book and was more in love with that one. But THEN you went and whipped out that wonderful copy of Little Women., I love that book and wish that I still had my own copy from when I was young. I stupidly put it on my classroom library shelf when I was a young teacher, and it grew legs and walked off. I am crazy about yours.

  4. Oh my, Denise, you brought back memories of Little Women, which was a favorite of mine when I was young. I have no idea where my copy is! Your Susan Branch book looks lovely and I'm sure I'd love it. xo

  5. Loved this post about your books, from one book lover to anothe,r I can't imagine not being able to look at or hold a book in my hands! Thanks for sharing.

  6. What a great collection you have…I especially love the Charles Dickens book and "Little Women"…Hope you faired well with all of this snow and ice!

  7. I love the classics and I love old books. Yours are wonderful. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  8. Books - what would life be without them? I shudder to even think of it. I love books - the more the merrier. Books are everywhere in our home. Little Women was one of the first books I remember reading. (Before that it was the Bobbsey Twins) Such a wonderful story.
    Your leather-bound Dickens is a real treasure.

  9. I can't imagine a house without books. I enjoyed reading about some of your special books. Your copy of Little Women is so sweet. The illustrations are awesome and the handwritten note from your parents makes it extra special.
    When we built our house it was a high priority to have a room with some built in bookcases. Now I love to go into that room and read or sometimes just look at (garden, home decor) books and dream.

  10. Hi Denise,
    I honestly have never heard of the first book, but what a great one! Handwritten? Love that and love the English countryside, so will have a look how to find this one, thanks for sharing it! I will spread the word to 2 people I know who would like it was well. Have a good day, Maureen x

  11. Denise, I finally made it to this post. I have had a note jotted down to order Susan Branch's book and just haven't gotten to it yet. Now it looks like I will order it along with the candle. I have already told you how I love the fact that you met your hubby in a book store. My original Little Women book must be the same vintage as yours. It has the same pictures inside but the cover is different. Mine is beige and soft blue and has a small picture on the front of the 'girls' in the shape of a cameo. It was copyright in 1947 and I received it in 1949. I have picked up another one recently (newer publication) so it is quite different. It doesn't have a copyright date. I just love them all Now I'm off to Amazon.com..Happy Monday..Judy



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