Buy the book

At Saturday’s auction, in addition to the records, I also ended up with several books. I only wanted a few, but the auctioneer thought I needed them all. There’s a small collection of White House related biographies and autobiographies — Henry Kissinger, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Harry S Truman. I’m most interested in those that are more than 50 years old.

“Paul and Virginia” by Bernardin St. Pierre, 1890: There’s no publication date in the book, which is labeled the “Arlington Edition” on the front cover. There are 12 pages of ads in the back, all for other books.

“One Thousand Pointers for Machinists and Engineers” by Chas. McShane, 1897. Original price: $1.50. It’s all about locomotives!

“Burt’s French-English Dictionary” by J.E. Wessely, 1900: It might’ve been written by Wessely, but the title page is quick to point out it was “rewritten, improved, and greatly enlarged by L. Tolhausen and George Payn in collaboration with M. Eug. Heyman.” The original price was $1; the yard sale sticker on the front cover is for 50 cents.

“The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan, 1903.

“The Vicar of Wakefield and Poems” by Oliver Goldsmith, 1908. Written on the inside cover in pencil: A man, a moon; A main, a boat; All afloat.

“Out of the Primitive” by Robert Ames Bennet, 1911. Written in pencil on the first page: Myrtle Adams Scott, from Mrs. John O. Wolfe, High School Class 14.

“Their Yesterdays” by Harold Bell Wright, 1912: The first few pages are loose. The chapters go through the “13 truly great things of life”: Dreams, occupation, knowledge, ignorance, religion, tradition, temptation, life, death, failure, success, love and memories.

“Starr, of the Desert” by B.M. Bower, 1917.

“That Human Being: Leonard Wood” by Hermann Hagedorn, 1920. Someone used the inside covers as a coloring book.

“The World’s One Hundred Best Short Stories; Volume Two: Romance,” 1927: Where are the other nine volumes?

“Short Stories,” 1934: This book was edited by H.C. Schweikert, Central High School, St. Louis.

“Delilah” by Marcus Goodrich, 1941: The fictional story of the USS Delilah is stamped on the sides “USS Barnwell.” The very real Barnwell was built and used in World War II.

“Code of a Champion” by Frederic Nelson Litten, 1950. An Arkansas Library Commission book, it has been stamped “discard” — perhaps because the first page has been ripped out.

“The Man from Missouri: The Life and Times of Harry S Truman” by Alfred Steinberg, 1962: This also was at some point a library book — the Murrell Library at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo., to be specific.

“The American Woman’s Cook Book,” 1967: I love old cookbooks, so I’ll probably keep this one. They’re a unique look into life at the time of publication. Where else can you find a Corn Pudding recipe that makes a sauce out of 2 tablespoons of fat, flour, milk and seasonings?