Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

19 February 2009

30 Books (Only Thirty?)

Julie (Samurai Knitter) has started a sort-of meme, "Thirty Books I Dig".

Talk about easy . . . for me the hard part is limiting it to thirty!

Have I told this story yet?

When we were first married, we went to an estate sale, and out on a closed-in porch, we found bookshelves stuffed full of old science fiction paperbacks and magazines. At first we were trying to pick out ones we wanted, but then my husband said, "Let's just offer her $20 for the lot."

The woman running the sale said, "Sure!" she would take our $20, and gave us paper bags and cardboard boxes. Then she said, "Do you want these, too?" and opened up a big walk-in closet completely lined with shelves of books.


We stuffed our little Honda Civic hatchback (a red Tardis of a car) with bags and bags and bags and boxes of science fiction until our backs ached.

Every author from Asimov to Van Vogt and Williamson. We have an eight-foot bookshelf double-stacked with science fiction paperback, and more in various places throughout the house.

We sold many of the older magazines (after reading them, of course) on eBay. That paid for two eight-foot bookcases from the furniture company I worked for back then. And I see we still have two computer-paper boxes with the newer (1970's) magazines like Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Barring the Fimbul-winter, it's not physically possible for us to be snowed in long enough to read every book on our shelves in one winter.

So that's about a thousand right there. (Do I joke? I've never really thought about counting them.)

But to get down to cases here, I'll think about some of my more personal shelves:

Travels in West Africa, by Mary Kingsley. I've talked about her before, and no doubt I will again. Quirky, opinionated, and full of wry good humor in the face of everything from mosquitoes to crocodiles.

Anything by Diana Wynne Jones. I started out with Archer's Goon and went from there. Being a dog lover, I'm fond of Dogsbody. (Argh, already I'm cheating and saying, "Just read the lot!"

Anything by Terry Pratchett. Okay. So I cheat. Read the lot!

What else is on these shelves over here?

Women's Work and Prehistoric Textiles by Elizabeth Wayland Barber.

Textiles and Clothing by Elisabeth Crowfoot et al.

Nearly every tatting pattern book ever put out by Dover.

Charles Holdgate's Net Making.

Two different editions of Etiquette, by Emily Post. Amusing and sad and sometimes infuriating. Time travel in hardcover.

Three different editions (one in French) of Thérèse de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework.

A reproduction of Caulfeild and Saward's Dictionary of Needlework.

Sylvia Groves' The History of Needlework Tools and Accessories.

Old-Time Tools & Toys of Needlework by Gertrude Whiting.

A whole slew of dog books by Brian Kilcommons and Sara Wilson, Carol Lea Benjamin, Stanley Coren, the Monks of New Skete, and Job Michael Evans. (I love training dogs. It's the people that stir me up!)

Quite a few books by modular origami genius Tomoko Fuse in both English and Japanese. (I don't read Japanese, but I can follow an origami diagram.)

Music books including Lullabies and Night Songs by Alex Wilder with drawings by Maurice Sendak. (I used to play the ocarina a lot and the pennywhistle somewhat.)

On the self-help shelf, I have authors such as Barbara Sher, Suzette Haden Elgin, Martha Beck, Julia Cameron, and probably a bunch more that I'll slap my forehead for forgetting.

Oh! And over here is my collection of darn near every Ted Sturgeon book ever printed in paperback. And all the Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter books.

I have five dictionaries. I have many knitting books, heavy on the historical. I have at least one cookbook. (The others are my husband's.) And we have many many many kids' books here.

Good heavens, is that the time? I'm sorry, I've kept you up - you really shouldn't get me started on books!

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Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Now you've made it difficult for me to go to work. I want to go get my copy of More Than Human and read instead!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

What a find! What a treasure! What an epic estate sale score! Legendary. I stand in awe and envy. And I applaud your book selections.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Hobbygåsa said...

Wow, you were lucky with that buy! I love books! I have some thousand last I counted years ago. I really dream of a libraryroom in my house. And my hubby reads just as much as mee. Dream vacation; warm and sunny beach and lots of books to read lol:.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, so many good ones here! Love Diana Wynne Jones, too, but haven't read Dogsbody (off to hunt that up online). And you know I love Elizabeth Barber -- can you believe i don't have the Prehistoric Textiles book? Another one to by. Suzette Haden Elgin, of course (she's a linguist), and Lord Peter Wimsy any day of the week :)

1:14 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I really think we were/are twins, separated at birth. When I moved to Hawaii, I had twenty-two boxes of books. When I moved back to the mainland, I had twenty-eight. I refuse to try to count.

You need to read "Death in the Long Grass" and "Death in the Silent Places" and "Death in the Dark Continent" by Peter Hathaway Capstick. Trust me. They're available on Amazon last I looked, at least used. Don't let the summary put you off. You will laugh and laugh and say "this is messed up" and laugh some more.

Tomoko Fuse is also on my shelf. I can't believe anyone else I know has those books. Especially on the mainland. I got mine at a Japanese stationery store in Honolulu.

Twins, I tell you. Twins.

"Speed" is my verification word. Speed READING, maybe??

2:44 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hee, hee, hee! Yeah, books were our first shared joy, weren't they? And thank god for my books or I would have had no friends in elementary school at all!

Whenever I'm writing one of those home tours I always give special care to the book lovers. We're pretty easy to spot! I have no idea how many books we have personally, but we have book shelves in nearly every room of the house. Except the bathrooms, they are just too small. But I think you have a book shelf in your bathroom, don't you?

We've had a couple of those epic book finds too, it's always fun when your collection increases exponentially!

7:28 PM  

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