July 21. Thursday
We spend a lot of time at the library, and not just because of the heat wave. Sitting high on a hill, stately with columns and red brick, it’s at the heart of downtown. I spent a lot of time here when I was a child. I read Harriet the Spy, The Secret Language, Ginny and the New Girl, the Call of the Wild, and anything by Marguerite Henry, Jim Kjelgaard and Beverly Cleary.
I’ve been to some amazing book sales there. I’ve bought embossed leather-bound books by Walt Whitman and Thomas Carlyle, Casanova’s memoirs, The Complete Tales of Washington Irving, and the entire collection of Harvard classics.
My favorite find was The Classic and the Beautiful from the Literature of Three Thousand Years. It’s a series of volumes from the late 1800’s filled with essays and stories and biographies and illustrations. They’re heavy, over-sized books running about 500 pages each. The covers are a rusty brown with the titles written in gold and they’ve begun to crumble into dust. They’ve fallen into public domain and Google digitized them last year, so I think you can buy them in paperback now.