10 Books That’ll Inspire You

16 Aug

If eyes are the window to the soul, then books are the gateway to passion, of course, this is just my opinion. For instance, in my life, books have propelled my interests and in some cases, my life choices. Here’s my Top 10 List of Vintage Books.

CLICK to read about this studious look!

{10 Books That’ll Inspire You}

In honor of National Book Week (August 10-16, 2011), I played a fun Facebook status game on the Thrifty Vintage Chic fan page

This lead to quite a lot of interest in the book I pulled the quote from, and sparked my muse to come up with this blog post.

{The Game}

The book within my arm’s reach was a turn-of-the-century collection of poems which I found in a used book store in Spring City, Pa., (Indian Path Books).  Naturally, the title “Poems You Out to Know” — as a writer and closeted, plus out-of-practice poet — attracted me and then it was the book’s illustrated etchings, as well as its deckle-edged pages … which contained a few hidden treasures!

{Come, Take a Look}

This is my 1903 copy, but it is available on eBay curently listed for $11 to $60. CLICK to bid or Buy It Now!

Unused postcard from England, circa. early 1900s.

I love how a previous owner translated the Romans numerals into the book's published date, 1903.

The same astute prior owner caught this mistaken index!

Gorgeous illustrations!

A final hidden surprise stationary dated 1925.

Used book stores were my heaven as a pre-teen girl. I loved the smell of Walter Amos Bookseller in Morgantown, Pa, or in the random book shops of Green Dragon Farmers’ Market in Ephrata, Pa.

The Sign of the Twisted Candles, by Carolyn Keene, 1933 is a higly collectible book. Thankfully, this is one in the series of Nancy Drew books read as a young girl. You can get your sleuthing fix by CLICKING this image!

To me, the stronger the scent of rich musty pages and dusty ink-laden bindings the greater the treasure which lied within.

This is when the thrill began
… a magical waltz among the shelves, dipping gracefully to investigate under-the-table stacks & gliding inquisitively into corners heaped with volumes
… my bounty patiently waiting & calling me to uncover it.

Hours I spent lost in another world, drinking wildly from the fountain of pouring words which painted rugged landscapes with dazzling skies.

My senses absorbing every detail: the etched golden bindings, the embossed detailed covers, the blocked scripts, the gilded pages contrasting others’ the deckle-edge pages.

This is my copy of: In Memoriam, by Lord Alfred Tennyson. undated. CLICK for a listing of similar copies on eBay.

The experience entranced me and it was formative. The connection to some ancient world, both imagined and tangible, nurtured my adventurous spirit.

Like a boat in harbor, clanging its last boarding call,  yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores and re-uzit shops, they all beckon to me with a haunting chant:

“The time is now to set sail into uncharted territories
… to search the unknown, to overcome daunting odds and to persevere victoriously
… such untold treasures will never be here again if it is not for you to claim the glory.”

And, claim I did. Starting at the age of 9, I began collecting books which caught my fancy — from the aesthetic level to the character’s tales within. So without further ado:

My Top 10 Favorite Vintage Books

1. In Memoriam, by Lord Alfred Tennyson, undated circa. early 19th century

2. A Selection of Poems, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1948

3. The Red Knight of Germany: The Story of Baron von Richthofen, by Floyd Gibbons, 1927

4. The Burnished Blade, by Lawrence Schoonover, 1949

5. The Godfather, by Nalbro Bartley, 1929

6. The Sign of the Twisted Candles, by Carolyn Keene, 1933

7. Scaramouche, by Rafael Sabatini, 1923

8. Chariots of Fire, by W.J. Weatherby, 1981

9. The Works of Plato, 1930

10. Plays on Classic Themes, by Franz Grillparzer, 1969

This list is not meant to be my all-time top 10 literary list, rather this is the list of my ten best friends from when I was 9 until I was 19 and beyond …

CLICK to see more of this studious look!

The characters and their prose listed above taught me how to have a fighting spirit, how to have a spunky and yet a graciously beautiful spirit, how to be a refined lady of honor …

They took me on grand escapades where I saw the world, danced with romance, tasted other cultures, negotiated death, spoke several languages and sharpened my wit like a masterful artist …

I am so honored to share these books with you knowing what’s resting on a person’s bookcase always reveals a good deal about that person’s heart and soul. Perhaps, today, you will get a greater understanding of who I am and what makes me tick.

I would be delighted to know what books have been your best friends throughout the years … perhaps, our lists overlap? Let’s continue this dialogue below!

What is your top 10 favorite vintage book list?

This is my copy of "Edgar Allan Poe: A Selection of Poems Edited by Montgomery Belgion", 1948. To purchase another copy as your own from eBay, CLICK now! Currently, priced at $33.

The Godfather by Nalbro Bartley, 1929. No current eBay (or Amazon) listing.

My 1923 copy of Scaramouche is readily available on eBay, as well as other more "modern" vintage copies, starting at just $3! CLICK to see the selection!

My 1981 copy of Chariots of Fire was the publishing year of the film which won four Academy Awards. CLICK to purchase your own copy on eBay! Incidentally, this movie & book inspired the majority of my yet-record-holding track career!

This is my 1956 primer on Plato's greatest works but you can purchase your own version for $2 on eBay. CLICK now!

I am so honored to have inherited this First Edition book from my father, especially since most eBay listings are starting bids at $30. BUT, there is one listing that's listed for just $15 as Buy It Now!! CLICK to scoop up this deal of a lifetime!

This 1949 copy of The Burnished Blade is an eBay seller's, currently listed for $3. My copy, same year, is a red hardback -- so I am not certain as to why there is a difference. But it's definitely worth the purchase!

**Franz Grillparzer’s Plays on Classic Themes, Translated by Samuel Solomon was not listed on eBay or Amazon, currently.


3 Responses to “10 Books That’ll Inspire You”

  1. ~ Kim ~ (@MissKimLou) August 16, 2011 at 7:02 AM #

    My favorite vintage book … my beloved copy of The Key of Rose Cottage (Margaret Baker), published in 1964 (read numerous times before the age of 12). It’s about three young ladies who embark on a vacation without supervision ad run into some difficulties; but still manage to muddle their way through and make the best of it. I believe it made such a huge impression on me during my childhood because I was part of a constantly “traveling” military family. Am also a Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene) fan and have about 15 of the original books which were stored in my Granny’s attic before and during the 1950’s. 🙂 My favorite ~ The Ghost of Blackwood Hall.


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic August 16, 2011 at 10:45 AM #

      Kim, wow … that sounds like a perfectly wonderful book for a girl to know that she can go anywhere, do anything and over come it all!! Love it! I will have to look it up … and The Ghost of Blackwood Hall — I never read that volume, as there are several in the series that alluded my eyes before I moved onto other books!


      • ~ Kim ~ (@MissKimLou) August 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM #

        Let me know if you find it. I checked Amazon (just out of curiosity) and it looked like it was once available in the UK, but not anymore. Another favorite story from back then (no hard copy, but it’s on my Kindle) is The Secret Garden. I’m sure you’ve read it …?


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