Sunday, March 13, 2011

What book have you had the longest?


This is the best picture I can manage. This book was given to me in 1950 by my grandparents--it has their signatures on it--and I think you can guess why. Written and illustrated by Laura Bannon, it is the story of Patty, her art class at a museum and how she learns to paint her favorite thing, her cat. The story is much too detailed for a two-year old, but once I could follow a longer narrative I loved it. The illustrations are excellent and so is the story.

What book, still in your possession, have you had the longest?

30 comments:

Todd said...

Somewhere in a storage box I believe I still have the "I Can Read It" edition of GRIMM'S that I was reading at age four, and possibly (though maybe/probably not) younger...I think my brother in his infancy destroyed my surviving picture books and Seuss and Little Goldens. So, since 1968ish.

Anonymous said...

God, can't even think of one. I've had various clear outs over the years and doubt I have anything older than high school era (ca. 1965), if that old.

My mother, on the other hand, still has the "vase" I painted for her in kindergarten in 1953.

Jeff M.

George said...

After my Mom got rid of my comic book collection while I was at Summer Camp, I turned to collecting paperbacks. The first paperback I bought was Ellery Queen's THE EGYPTIAN CROSS MYSTERY. Great cover!

Randy Johnson said...

I have a copy of 1984, one of several, that i bought for some school reading assignment. I don't think it was the first book I bought, but close.

Dana King said...

I have a copy of KEYSTONE KIDS, by John R. Tunis, that was my father's. I don't remember when he gave it to me, but he was 12 when he got it. (Copyright 1943.)

I used to own THE KID FROM TOMKINSVILLE and WORLD SERIES, but have no idea where they are now. Both are from the same series. THE KID is Tunis's best-known work.

kitty said...

I've had a children's book called Peppermint my whole life. (I was born in 1950.)

David Cranmer said...

I have some Curious George my parents bought for me when I was two or three. So, thirty-seven years.

James Reasoner said...

Somewhere in storage, in a box that came from my mother's house (and wasn't here when we had our fire), there are probably some of the books I had when I was five or six. But I don't know that for sure.

Before the fire, I still had the copies of the first paperback I ever bought (BABYSITTER'S GUIDE BY DENNIS THE MENACE) and the first grown-up paperback I ever bought, a Gold Medal Western by William R. Cox called BIGGER THAN TEXAS. I've since replaced the Cox book with a copy of the same edition, but I haven't rounded up another Dennis the Menace book yet. One of these days, though.

Naomi Johnson said...

I have the little Bible my Sunday-school teacher gave me in 1963. It's a bit worse for wear, as for some time it was the only book that was my very own and didn't have to go back to the library.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I think the one I've had the longest is a very battered copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess. I absolutely loved that novel when I was a girl.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I also have even older books that people gave me. A copy of Alice in several pieces now.
James I thought of you when I wrote this and the fire. So horrible to lose it all.
I have my kid's books for the most part. Maybe they'll come for them someday.
Did everyone's Mom get rid of their comic book collection? And their baseball cards.
Most of my books were handmedowns from neighbor's kids. We were library users on Gilbert Street for the most part.
I have a bunch of those little bibles in advancing handwriting. And to think cursive is not longer taught. I am sure this is a mistake.
I loved THE LITTLE PRINCESS too. God, it made me weep the other day when I saw a minute or two from the end of a movie channel.
Several of my books have my name, then my brother's and then mine again. I guess their ownership was in doubt.
I cannot find my kid's Seuss books. I am mystified.

Dorte H said...

An easy question for once :D

If I owned any children´s books, I don´t remember any of them. The first book I remember as ´really mine´ was Sayers´ "Clouds of Witness" (in Danish, of course). I began reading it when we visited my grandmother, and when we had to go home, she told me I could keep it. My first book, first real crime novel, and from a grandmother I loved dearly. That one is a treasure.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That's a nice story, Dorte.

Anonymous said...

Naomi's comment reminded me of an older one - the Pentateuch and Haftorahs I got for my bar mitzvah in 1961.

Jeff M.

Jack Bates said...

Diver's Down- a YA novel from the 70's. A Whitman chapter book about a boy who goes to an ocean institute in Hawaii and gets mixed up in a treasure hunt. I think I read it every summer five years running.

Todd said...

I definitely now own items which predate my grandparents, but the flood of my family's house in 1967 (thanks, Cheena River) destroyed nearly every book and fiction magazine my folks had up to that time. Good times.

My parents never felt the need to throw away my books or magazines. The post office, however, wasn't so gentle with materials I had mailed to myself in the process of moving from Hawaii to Virginia...at least two of the boxes arrived open and missing some of their contents.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I remember my son reading baseball books over and over. Also books that made him laugh. There are not enough of those.
I can't imagine never giving books away, Todd. We'd have--well, we'd have about what George has if we didn't.

Ron Scheer said...

Patti, your questions are always irresistible. I grew up in a house without books, except for the Bible and my mother's copy of A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, which she told me never to read - and I never did...The oldest book still in my possession is a college textbook, SHAKESPEARE: 23 PLAYS AND THE SONNETS, copyright 1953.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We did not have many books in my house either, Ron. My mother read some books but only had one small bookcase worth. My father did not read at all.
Later in life, my mother became a more avid reader.

Deb said...

I still have a number of books I received circa 1964/65, when I was about six or seven. Although we were most definitely English working-class, my mother was an avid reader and took me to get my first library card when I was three. In addition, my father worked for the company that distributed books and magazines in London and the surrounding five "home counties" and, occasionally, books would fall off the back of the lorry--ha-ha! My favorite of those books is the Princess Ballet Book of 1965 which includes some gorgeous color photographs of Fonteyn & Nureyev, among others.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Which reminds of those "shoe" books by Noel Streatfield.

Yvette said...

I have a book of fairytales from when I was about 8 or so. It was part of a set, but the rest of the books went missing over the years. This book is special to me because I did not grow up in a house filled with books or with parents who were big readers. It's still amazing to me that my mom (or dad) bought a set of fairy tales for me.

Richard R. said...

I have a few things I've had sine I was A Small Child:

- The OZ books of my older brothers that came to me,
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, from 1949 when I was 4.
- When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne, childen's poems, some of which I can recite still.

Cap'n Bob said...

Since we moved all the time, books were considered expendable. I have my 1961 junior high yearbook and some elementary school yearbooks, and a Roget's Thesauraus circa 1970. As for fiction, I haven't a clue.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I had a hand me down series of fairytale books titled THE BLUE BOOK, THE RED BOOK and so on. Don't know what happened to them.
My mother had none because of constantly moving.
My kids collected the OZ books and I have about seven of them now.

Anonymous said...

Cap'n Bob - you reminded me that I have my 1961 and 1962 junior high school yearbooks too.

Jeff M.

John said...

A signed copy of a book called 13 Monsters. It contains legends and stories collected by a children's writer named Dorothy Gladys Spicer who did extensive travelling specifically to hear European and British legends told by the peopl of the countries she visited. She then rewrote them for young audiences.

I've had the book ever since I bought it at my elementary school book fair in 1972. She used to visit our school each yeear and loved the kids. Inside the book is a letter from her (the first letter I ever recieved from a writer) and she she included a picture of herself which she signed "From your friend, Dorothy Gladys Spicer." At the time (geeky nerd that I was) I thought it was the coolest thing I ever owned.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wonderful story. My kids loved a writer--first name Ellen--I think. And wrote to her and she wrote back to them. She wrote humorous, mysteries stories that they loved. Such a thrill.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Ellen Raskin

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw said...

Until last March, "Good Night Moon". I don't recall when Mama gave it to me, I only remember always having it. When I went back home last March, I left "Good Night Moon" on Mama's headstone.

When I turned nine, Papa gave me a book his father had given to him, which had been given to him by his father... maybe his father before him; it is a very old book - "Thoughts From Marcus Aurelius".

Sadly, over the years and many moves, , Winnie The Pooh, Dr Seuss and Beatrix Potter disappeared into that "great unknown"... I hope someone found them and enjoyed the stories as much as I did.

Thank you for your post, Patti... brings back many memories. :)