A month or two ago I heard about a book that has been mostly in print for more than a hundred years. Which is to say it went out for a while, recently, but has been brought back and can now be bought new.
Since it's about needlework (current obsession), and clearly would be talking about the art as practised a hundred years ago (longtime obsession) I decided I needed a copy for my library.
However, reviews of the book at Amazon clearly indicated that earlier editions are to be preferred, because the quality of illustration is just so much better.
So I got onto an online bookseller of used books and tracked down a 1920s copy for really quite a bearable amount of money and ordered it, and after some time - it was living in England when I got my impulse - it arrived.
There were several layers to unwrap before I got here:
and then there was a cardboard case, still intact:
Don't you love how the letter on the spine of the case would tell you what book is inside, while keeping said book dust-free? The title, of course, shows on the opposite side:
And the cover itself is still clear and beautiful.
But none of that prepared me for the illustrations:
As promised. And this may be all I need when it comes time for me to darn my first pair of handknit socks:
It's a lovely, lovely book and now that I have it, I can't stop thinking about the person who had it first and took such care of it, and wondering how long it was had before being passed on, and how many hands it passed through before it came to mine. I hope I will do all of them proud.