Saturday, 17 March 2007

Dewy-eyed nostalgia

Simmy's comment below got me digging out my old copies of The Book or Prayers, which is where I think the "yellow umbrella in April shower" picture comes from. Looking through the revised version of this and other prayer books is a striking reminder of how Ladybird images toughened up as the 1960s turned into the 1970s.

Gone is the soft-focus, pastel-hued world of sparkling kitchens and happy Doris-Day mothers greeting tweedy trilby-wearing Cary-Grant Daddies as they come home from the 9.00-5.00 in the office. The cherubic children flinging themseleves into parental arms before rushing off to help with the housework also disappear.

Did society really change so much at this point? Or did it just take Ladybird an awfully long time to get with the beat?

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

This was the first 'rare' book that I ever found. It was shortly after I started collecting Ladybird Books, about 7 years ago. I always checked out my local charity shops and, in those days, usually found an old LB or two in each shop. This time my husband and I divided forces and he came back with this book. It cost a lot of money - £3.99 and I really wasn't sure that it was a good purchase at the time. But it was!

I don't really remember Jonathan's Shopping Day from childhood. It was never published in large numbers and publication had ceased before I was born. So this book really signified a rite of passage. I bought it because it was a lovely, collectable old Ladybird book - not because I had fond memories of it. I was now A Collector.

This, of course, raises another issue.

If you find a book worth £100 but priced at £1 in a charity bookshop, should you:

a) snap it up and feel smug
b) buy it for £1 but put extra in the tin
c) let the shop know its true worth?

I have so far been spared this decision, since this is the only charity shop where I've found a very rare book and at the time I didn't know its true worth. But I suspect I would be somewhere between a) and b). I've spent a fortune on books in charity shops over the years.