Tom hit a library sale yesterday and this was his take for me.
Now that we have a kid, library sales are our book-gathering method of choice. There’s a lot more bang for your buck there, and, let’s face it, with a few exceptions, children’s literature is a fleeting thing, captured and consumed.
I give him vague directions (“Oh, anything gardening, I guess”) and he usually nabs something that contains a few gems, a few pearls of wisdom. The Gourmet mags were a fluke. They are from the 1950s, and, without exaggeration, a good 25% of the pages are liquor ads! All of a sudden, all those John Cheever stories make complete sense. I can just imagine Pauline Hausfrau setting her ruffled apron afire while making crepes Suzette, fortified, as she was, by all those cocktails.
The gardening books are always fun reads, especially old issues of Organic Gardening. I usually can glean some earthen tidbits from all of these books. And, if not, our own library sale is in about a month, so we can recycle the duds.
I love old gardening magazines. I kept two boxes of Organic Gardening and some other magazines like Horticulture maybe and a magazine about flowers after we cleaned out my grandfathers house. They are all from the 40s, 50s, and early 60s. I love the ads. So many chemicals (not in Organic Gardening of course). And it seemed that gardening was such a manly pursuit, while the women were always shown puttering with African violets inside the house. Unless of course it was an ad for power mowers, in which case they were shown working up a sweat in their capris and kitten heels to illustrate how easy to use a power mower was.
I miss working at the library. I always got first crack at the stuff we were selling. Needless to say, my book collection increased drastically.
That’s a good harvest!
Believe it or not, I’ve gotten some of my favorite recipes from readers writing in at the beginning of old Gourmet magazines. One memorable one was for something the reader called “Sludge”, consisting of eggplant, red bell peppers, honey and a dash of soy sauce. Cook down to “sludge” and slather over fresh Italian bread. Divine!!!
Just found your blog. It’s awesome. I’ll be back often.
M, I adore those old mags too; it’s just too bad most of them SMELL like old basement (at least, this pile does.) And YOU garden in your Bruce Jenners, remember!
BB, wow, first dibs? That would be cool. You can’t go to these things expecting to find something particular, which is the only drawback.
CC: It is fun, admittedly. Our kid is overjoyed when she sees the boxes. I am overjoyed I don’t have to read the same stuff to her every night.
Artemisia, wow, that sounds YUM! (filing for future reference, like, maybe 3 weeks from now…)
Deliberately: welcome, and thanks…and I am glad you did. Wendell Berry is one of my heroes.