Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 92,607 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite? (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Indiana Author Rick Barry
      Welcome to the Book Loft, Rick! Is there a story behind your book, The Methuselah Project? This novel is the intersection of several interests of mine. My father became a pilot as a teenager, so we always had a single engine airplane in our family. World War 2 has fascinated me since I saw the movie The Great Escape in 7th grade. I also enjoy a romantic twis […]
    • The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry
      During World War II, German scientists started many experiments. One never ended. Shot down over Nazi Germany in 1943, Roger Greene becomes both a prisoner and an unwilling guinea pig in a bizarre experiment. Seventy years later, Roger still appears as youthful as the day he crash-landed—and he’s still a prisoner. Nearly insane from his long captivity, Roger […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Deanna Nowdanick
      It's great to meet you, Deanna, and welcome you to our site! Can you tell us a bit about your family?I enjoy a wonderful marriage to my husband, Kurt. We met at Pacific Lutheran University, a delightful chapter in Signs of Life (and Fruit of My Spirit!). Let’s just say he was the cutest freshman starting on the football team. We have two adult sons. Kyl […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • And the Winner Is...
       Congratulations to...Midnight on the Mississippiby Mary EllisAbout the book:What Lies Beneath the Black Water of the Bayou?Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingne […]
    • ~August 2015 Releases Clash~
      Clash of the Titles presents four new end-of-summer reads! Peruse the images, read the blurbs, then vote on your favorite in the survey. I know which one is my favorite.Enjoy, dear readers!Children of When by Jennifer RedmileTo fulfill a prophecy, Raff, Leah, and Belle must find and reunite three missing pieces of an ancient amulet, and in the process learn […]
    • Featuring.... Author Renee Blare!
      Ok, avid readers. We've got a beautiful romantic suspense novel for you this week! Check out that gorgeous cover! To Soar On Eagle's Wings is the first in this series of books set in the mountains.To Soar On Eagle's WingsSpring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the mea […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • I'm Baack, I Think
      If you haven't noticed, which I actually hope you have, I haven't blogged for a while. Well, I needed a break. I'd published seven books in three years and I was sort of written out. I simply needed a break. So now I think the break is over. I'm thinking about writing again and have several projects in different stages of writing. They we […]
    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Celebrating Teachers on World Teachers' Day
      WE LOVE TEACHERS at our house all year round. From a multi-generational family of PROUD public school teachers and friends of the many, many proud, excellent teachers out there, thank you to Nik Baron at Grammarly for allowing me to share this on World Teachers' Day.,
    • Deanna Nowadnick returns with Signs in Life
      ·  ·        Book Description$12.95 Paperback: 144 pagesPublisher: Rhododendron BooksISBN: 978-0983589754Sellers: §  Amazon Print§  Barnes & Noble $1.99 EBook: 3382 KBPublisher: Rhododendron BooksISBN: 978-0983589761Sellers:§  All major digital retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble·        Tell us what you love about this bookAs you’ll learn […]
    • Carla McDougal's new book, Sold Out: Live for Jesus releases
      About the Book: Do you sometimes feel like you live to exist? Does one day seem to run into the next without much meaning? Do you want more out of life? God desires for us to live each day with meaning. From the moment we wake up, God waits for us to connect with Him. His voice calls, but do we listen? In "Sold Out: Live for Jesus," Carla McDougal […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean
      NOTE:  Due to a serious need to cut back on my workload, this will be my last official book review on this blog.It doesn’t seem possible that the evening can get any worse for police officer Josh Wallace after he is dumped by the girlfriend he planned to propose to, but it does.  Josh and his partner are shot while chasing a carjacking suspect. While on the […]
    • Book Review: Swept Away (Trouble in texas Book 1) by Mary Connealy
      Ruthy MacNeil is rescued by Luke Stone after she nearly drowns fording a flooded river with a wagon train. Her step family doesn’t survive and she is finally free of their mistreatment. Luke surived the horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in notorious Anderson prison during the civil war, only to learn that his father has been killed and the family ranch st […]
    • Book Review of Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule
      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Dusty, Musty Old Books–A Writer’s Treasures

Posted by April W Gardner on October 24, 2012

Some of my old books.

When speaking of books, how old is old to you? To me, “old” is anything before 1900, but in England, books aren’t considered “old” unless they have 700 years-worth of dust. Not kidding.

When we lived there, I snapped up any book from the 1800’s I came across that was under 10 quid. If I’d been more diligent to look, I could have left the country with boxes upon boxes. As it was, I ended up with around fifty. They’re displayed in my living room.

One of my favorite pastimes is to open the cabinet and drink in the musty scent of them, then take one out and appreciate the feel of it. The binding, cover, paper—every part of the old books were carefully created to be thoroughly enjoyed, to impress, to last. Not so anymore. So sad.

My 1792 Bible

My oldest book is a Bible from 1792. I got it for a few pounds at a flea market. Incredible, huh? The history behind that one Bible has got to be rich. Too bad I don’t know it.

I thought I’d share with you a few lines from a few of my favorite old books. See if you can guess which ones they’re from. I’ll start with an easy one…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Phew! I’m outta breath. Did the man not believe in periods? Can you guess who the author was? Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities—from my early 1900s copy.

Here’s another. A hint for you, think Disney…

Once upon a time, there was…

“A king!” my small readers will exclaim.

No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood.

Figure it out? Charles Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio”—from my 1940 edition.

Odd are slim you won’t get the next one, so I’ll just tell you what it is, then you can enjoy the first line. It’s from a children’s novel called “Alone in London” written by Hesba Stretton. The inscription on the inside reads, “To dear little Freddie with love from Auntie Alice. 1891”

It had been a close and sultry day—one of the hottest dog-days—even out in the open country, where the dusky green leaves had never stirred upon their stems since the sunrise, and where the birds had found themselves too languid for any songs beyond a faint chirp now and then.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Here’s another set in the countryside, but this one is a fairy tale…

It was beautiful in the country, it was summer-time, the wheat was yellow, the oats were green, the hay was stacked up in the green meadows, and the stork paraded around on his long red legs, discoursing in Egyptian, which language he had learned from his mother.

Tough one, huh? I’ll just give it to you. It’s the first line from my 1851 edition of “Andersen’s Fair Tales, The Ugly Duckling.” The book was given to Violent Barnard for her “good conduct, satisfactory progress, and regular attendance” at High Wych C.E. School. So cool!!

Last, I’ll share with you the first lines from a novel written in 1859.

On the library wall of one of the most famous writers in America, there hang two crossed swords, which his relatives wore in the great War of Independence. The one sword was gallantly drawn in the service of the king, the other was the weapon of a brave and honoured republican soldier.

That snippet is from Chapter 1 of “The Virginians” by W.M. Thackeray. I’ve always wanted to read that one—a novel, written from the British POV about the Americans during our War for Independence. One of these day, I plan to!

Do you have any beloved old books? Care to share a few lines from them?

 —April W Gardner is an award-winning author and the senior editor at Clash of the Titles.


4 Responses to “Dusty, Musty Old Books–A Writer’s Treasures”

  1. Awesome, April, from a woman who hoards book like the last crumbs on earth. Yesterday at book club we were discussing Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s debut novel, The Language of Flowers, and I pulled out my Kate Greenaway gift copy that I bought in 1980, originally published a 100 years earliers. I have my dad’s school books, a lot of my grandparent’s, from Iowa, early 20th; prayer books and hymnals from earlier than that; my grandmother’s Norwegian Bible; I hadn’t really thought much about collecting old books until I read CJ Darlington’s novels.

    • I enjoyed CJ’s book for that reason, too! Dad’s school books? Wow! Do you have a history book? Makes me wonder what they focused on “back then”. The Norwegian Bible is awesome too. Shoot. All of it is!! It’s not often I find someone as fascinated with old books as I am. When my friends come over and don’t glance twice at my collection, I wonder if they’re weird, or if I am. LOL! How can you NOT giggle, exclaim, demand to see them all?! OK, so… maybe I’m the weird one. ;-)

  2. […] Photo credit […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,245 other followers

%d bloggers like this: