Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I’m Reading A Little Brown Book

My current read - click to enlarge.

I think I mentioned long ago that I had a few old, small books along the classic vein. Now that I have more time on my hands, I’ve decided to begin reading again, starting with some of my “little brown books,” as I call them. They’re all about the same size (approximately 4-1/4 X 5-3/4), though the thickness varies a good bit. The one I’m reading first is only a half-inch thick, including the cover, but it’s probably the thinnest of the lot. To be fair, the print is a little on the small side, too. It’s an abridged version (think Reader’s Digest condensed books) of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It has the title printed near the top, and "Macmillan's Pocket Classics" printed closer to the bottom.

It originally belonged to my maternal grandfather. He was a different sort of fellow, the son of a different sort of fellow. Leaving the high school he was attending due to his father changing work locations, he found himself near a well-known state college. So, he started going to college. He wasn’t there long enough to even get an associate degree before they moved back to their hometown. As a result, he graduated high school at the same one he’d attended earlier, but a couple of years late.

A few years later, he got married, and he and Grandma moved to Detroit so he could go to a college there, working on the side. Sadly, he developed some severe health problems that caused him to lose his job, and he had to return home before he graduated. Eventually, he enrolled in a correspondence college and I THINK got some sort of degree, for whatever it was worth. I know that it didn’t make it any easier for him to get a decent job in this area, because he did manual labor all of his life.

Granddad was born in 1900, and probably came back from Detroit about 1929. This book was, no doubt, purchased by him either during his high school or college years, but I have no way of knowing which. Since it was printed in 1923, I suspect that it was purchased either for the Detroit or correspondence college. I’ve had the little books for over 30 years, but have only read a couple. I guess it’s time that I change that. © 2016

They had a pretty good list of titles, though I've only got about a dozen. Click image to enlarge.


Ralph Goff said...

As much as I hated school, I did like the three Shakespeare plays we studied in high school. An old friend and I sometimes bring up a quotation from Julius Caesar, Macbeth or Hamlet in conversation.

Gorges Smythe said...

Strangely enough, Ralph, I never had to read any Shakespeare in school, but I have Read Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth on my own.

Chickenmom said...

Sometimes our little library has a book sale and that's when I stock up on the old, old books that no one else wants. Such treasures!

Gorges Smythe said...

I like the old books, Cm. You get entertainment and history at the same time.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I love old books. I actually am taking a vacation day later this month to attend our library sale, it's several libraries in our district, each in a small town. You can find so many interesting things since it's not only old library books but ones people have donated too.

Gorges Smythe said...

That will be neat, Kathy.