This 1904 commemorative edition of American macabre author Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales—Mystery and Occultism, Volume V, contains nine of his lesser known stories. It’s quite small, and could fit in a shirt pocket.
Author: Joanna Buffum
Books and Other Found Things, VA
On my way home from Washington D.C. after attending the Women’s March with my mother, we stopped for lunch in the quaint colonial town of Leesburg in Virginia. The town is full of wine shops (it’s the heart of Virginia wine country), antique stores, museums, cute restaurants and this adorable used bookshop. It’s directly across…
This 1966 illustrated edition of Thoreau’s Walden, first published in 1854, is a truly lovely version of this iconic Transcendentalist work. The black and white illustrations by Aldren Watson are bordered in a golden yellow, complimenting the simple red and gold hardcover. (There’s also a green and gold hardcover version.)
James Fenimore Cooper wrote The Deerslayer in 1826. This 1954 copy is stamped as property of South Hunterdon Regional High School Library, a school in Lambertville, New Jersey. Somehow it ended up at Village Antiques and Collectibles in Succasunna.
The Last of the Mohicans
The International Collectors Library was a book club series published by Doubleday Book & Music Clubs and produced in Garden City, New Jersey, from the late 1940s through the late 1980s. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper was first published in 1829.
The Sea Wolf
World’s Best Reading is a series of classic books published by Readers Digest beginning in 1982, starting with Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage. Jack London’s The Sea Wolf, which was first published in 1904, was book number 35 in the series and released in 1989. Though this book doesn’t qualify as “antique” by any…
The Seawife, NJ
Firstly, apologies for the long absence! The Seawife, an antique store housed in a historic building in Viking Village, Barnegat Light, on Long Beach Island, NJ, has a whimsical mixture of nautical and garden inspired pieces. While the shop doesn’t have many books (if at all), I had to share this gem.
This 1944 first edition of Wilderness Clearing by young adult historical fiction author Walter D. Edmonds was purchased at Pegasus Antiques in Chester, New Jersey. Edmonds’ 1936 novel Drums Along the Mohawk was a commercial and critical success, telling the story of Revolutionary War-era fictional settlers living in the upstate New York Mohawk Valley, and their…
Half A Hundred Tales by Great American Writers
This 1945 first edition of Half a Hundred Tales by Great American Writers was purchased at Village Antiques and Collectibles in Succasunna, New Jersey. The work is an anthology compiled and edited by Charles Grayson, and includes esteemed American writers like John Cheever, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. I scanned the table of contents…
“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle, something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all some day.” This 1950 edition of Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy by…
Breeding & Improvement of Farm Animals
This third edition, sixth impression, of Breeding and Improvement of Farm Animals by Victor Arthur Rice was published in 1942, and found in the homesteading section of the Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, ME. This book was part of the McGraw-Hill publications in the agricultural sciences, a series published between 1917 and 1937. Rice was a…
Elysium Antiques, NJ
I wandered into Elysium Antiques in Somerville, NJ, while on assignment for a story, and was very impressed by the quality of the antiques at the store. While I didn’t spot any books to add to my collection (and honestly, most of the store was quite beyond my price bracket), several pieces of decadent vintage clothing did…
This 1960 edition of Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health by D. C. Jarvis, M.D., was purchased at the Scranberry Coop in Andover, New Jersey. Any literature pertaining to traditional early American medicine—or essentially plants, herbs and tinctures— captures my attention, and I’m always amazed at the bountiful pharmacy growing in our…
The Mushroom Book
This 1905 first edition of the Nature Library Mushroom Book by Nina Marshall, purchased at the Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, ME, is one of my favorite books in my collection. As an amateur forager, mushrooms have befuddled my imagination with their mysterious and unusual characteristics. Michael Pollan captures their charm in the “Gathering: The Fungi” chapter of…
Francatelli’s Modern Cook
This 1888 American edition of Francatelli’s Modern Cook: A Practical Guide to the Culinary Art In All Its Branches was purchased at the Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, Maine. The author, Charles Elme Francatelli (1805-1876), was a British chef with French training who dominated the London culinary scene for much of the mid-nineteenth century. For a time, he…
Indian Tales, illustrated and written by Spanish writer Jaime de Angulo, is a collection of indigenous American folk tales and animal mythology Angulo learned while living among the Pit River Indians of California. This 1953 first edition was purchased at the Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, ME.
This 1881 first edition of Farm Festivals by poet Will Carleton was purchased at the Scranberry Coop in Andover, NJ, and was published eight years after his popular collection Farm Ballads (1873).
The Call of the Wild
The Call of the Wild by Jack London was published in 1903 to critical acclaim. It’s a prime example of the American pastoral: the domesticated protagonist Buck rejects modernity and chooses primitive life in the wilderness. An action-adventure “survival of the fittest” animal parable, Call of the Wild combines popular literary genres while writing a beautiful, persuasive…
Scranberry Coop, NJ
The Scranberry Coop in Andover, NJ, is a 10,000 square-foot warehouse with more than 150 antique and collectibles dealers. You might be tempted to pronounce it “co-op,” but it’s actually pronounced “coop.” “The Coop is not a co-op, which is why it is pronounced “coop” which rhymes with “scoop.” We are one store. When we’re…
Dickon Among the Lenape Indians
This 1938 first edition copy of Dickon Among the Lenape Indians by M.R. Harrington was purchased at the Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, ME; an exciting find in a bookstore outside of New Jersey. Still used as an educational tool for New Jersey elementary school students, this work has been lauded for its accurate depiction of Lenape Indian life…
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
This 1941 edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and illustrated by Richard Powers is a Junior Deluxe Edition published by Nelson Doubleday. Purchased at Village Antiques & Collectibles in Succasunna, NJ.
The Art of Preserving
“An army marches on it’s stomach.” – Napoleon Bonaparte Nicolas Appert (1745-1841) was a French chef who is known today as the father of modern food preservation. In 1795, Napoleon’s military held a contest with a 12,000-franc prize to discover a more efficient way to preserve and transport food. Napoleon was determined to distribute safe…
Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson
This well-loved copy of the Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson in One Volume was purchased at Village Antiques & Collectibles in Successunna, NJ. I can’t find a publishing date anywhere on the book, but it’s likely Walter J. Black Inc.’s 1925 edition. Emerson’s classic essays Nature (1836) and The American Scholar (1837) encouraged an explosion of uniquely American literature…
Of Mice and Men
This first edition 1937 copy of John Steinback’s Of Mice and Men belonged to my mother, and was added to my collection in high school.
Modern Tales & Animal Stories
The Young Folks Treasury was a twelve volume book series aimed to entertain and educate children. Modern Tales & Animal Stories is the fourth book in the series; my 1919 first edition was discovered at Riverbooks in Hallowell, Maine.
Baree, Son of Kazan
This is a first edition of Baree, Son of Kazan by James Oliver Curwood, published in 1917 and the sequel to Kazan (1914). Curwood was an avid conservationist and spent long periods of time living in the Canadian wilderness, which inspired him to set his action-adventure stories in nature. He writes in the preface that he sets…
This 1946 copy of Dragonwyck by Anya Seton Chase was purchased at a local garage sale in Randolph, NJ for one dollar. I actually bought the book assuming it had something to do with dragons, but discovered that Dragonwyck is the name of the mysterious estate near Hudson, New York, where the novel takes place. I…
DIY Bike Inspiration
In the spring I’m looking to finish redesigning my bike to suit my personality. Here’s an inspiration gallery of some looks I’m considering.
Mystery, Magic, and Medicine
While vacation in Maine over the holidays, I was ranting to a new friend about my interest in indigenous medicine and shamanism when he mentioned he had a book I might like. He found it in an old barn many years ago with a friend, and said I could have it if it sounded interesting. When…
Will Carleton, a poet who wrote about life in rural America, compiled Farm Legends to follow his successful anthology Farm Ballads. Carleton followed with others like it, including Farm Festivals (1881), City Ballads (1885), City Legends (1889) and City Festivals (1892). This copy was published in 1887 and purchased at Pegasus Antiques in Chester, NJ.
Tartuffe or The Hypocrite
Tartuffe or The Hypocrite and The Would be Gentleman by Moliere, 1963 edition purchased at Village Antiques & Collectibles in Succasunna, NJ
Sword of the Wilderness
Sword of the Wilderness by Elizabeth Coatsworth tells the story of a child kidnapped by Native Americans in 1689 in Maine. This copy was published in 1936 and purchased at Maine Bookhouse in Oxford, Maine. I particularly enjoy collecting old illustrated children’s literature that describes life in early America, particularly encounters with Native Americans, so this fits…
Through the Looking Glass
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll is the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This illustrated edition was published in 1946 and purchased at Village Antiques and Collectibles, Succasunna, NJ.
The Second Bookshelf Attempt
My first DIY bookshelf was a repainted wooden ladder, which was an easy way to recycle something that I already owned. In my first post about DIY bookshelves, I mentioned that our collection of antique apple crates were accidentally used as firewood by our neighbor, and since then I’ve always wanted to use old crates…
The Maine Bookhouse, ME
The Maine Bookhouse is a family-owned bookstore in an old pumpkin-colored house with slanted floorboards and low ceilings in Oxford, Maine. I ended up putting back ten books while tallying up my embarrassingly large order at the cash register (my boyfriend and I were the only customers in the store for an hour, so I’m hoping…
While heading to Vaughn Woods, a small park in Hallowell, Maine, known to locals as “Hobbit Land” for its picturesque series of stone bridges, we found this incredible bookstore that uses an honor pay system. I spent five minutes looking around the narrow store for an employee until I noticed a small sign that said:…
Cabot Mill Antiques, ME
This massive antique market is on the ground floor of a renovated mill on the Androscoggin River in Brunswick, Maine, which is the town where I lived for four years while attending Bowdoin College. I purchased an 1854 copy of The Poetical Works of John Milton for a mere $25.
Milton’s Poetical Works
The Poetical Works of John Milton, edited by Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart, published in 1854. Purchased for a mere $25 at Cabot Mill Antique Mall, Brunswick, Maine.
Great Moments in History
Great Moments in History: A Graphic Survey of 150 Decisive Events in the World’s History by Samuel Nisenson & Alfred Parker, 1932 edition, with a handwritten note dated November 22, 1932 on the inside cover. Each page is a newspaper-style article about great moments in [Western] history, each with an accompanying illustration. Purchased at Half…
The Three Musketeers
This version of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is the 1999 Reader’s Digest: The World’s Best Reading edition, illustrated by Rowland Wheelright and purchased at Half Moon Antiques in Windham, ME.
Half Moon Antiques, ME
I’m on vacation for a week in Maine, and stopping at as many antique stores and book shops as possible (or that my wallet will allow). Half Moon Antiques was a nice surprise right next to the diner we stopped for breakfast in Windham, Maine, right outside Little Sebago Lake. I purchased The Three Musketeers…
Thrilling Lives of Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill
A 1911 edition of Thrilling Lives of Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill by Frank Winch, purchased at Village Antiques & Collectibles, Succasunna, NJ. Another great addition to my collection, combining my interests in folklore, early perceptions of Native Americans and children’s literature. History is merely the chronicle of great men. Their deeds remain alive forever…
The First Bookshelf Attempt
For my first DIY bookshelf experiment, I transformed an old wooden ladder with a few layers of paint and some patterned chevron templates to add an extra bit of flair. I decorated the shelf with some antiques and homemade candles in Mason jars (recipe to come). This was extremely simple, so maybe next time I…
Gardens, Books & Whimsy
“If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.” – Cicero I read this quote this afternoon on a sign at the Creamery Cafe in Morristown, NJ, which rang very true with two of my life passions: nature and books. Here are some whimsical garden libraries, book installations, and clever ways…
1923 Atlas of the World
This 1923 Atlas of the World and Gazetteer was purchased at Village Antiques & Collectibles, Succasunna, NJ. Very interesting maps showing how much the borders of the world’s nations are constantly evolving.
Old Luckett’s Store, VA
The Old Luckett’s Store in Leesburg, Virginia is the closest thing I’ve found to an amusement park for antique lovers. Started by two women who took a chance on a decrepit abandoned building in 1996, the shop constantly has new finds from estate sales, auctions and more than 35 dealers. I’ve been three times and each…
DIY Bookshelf Inspiration
I’m hoping to build my own bookshelf soon out of reclaimed, recycled or cut wood. Some of the ideas I like below: produce crates, old boats, ladders, birch branches and antlers as decoration. Unfortunately, the antique apple crates my boyfriend saved from his time working at Riamede Farm were accidentally used by our neighbors as…
DIY Wild Flowers
Flowers help brighten any home, and they are free. I use “recycled” bottles as flower vases, like the ones below, and pick wildflowers while hiking or biking (my bike has a great basket). Just bring a pair of heavy duty scissors to trim the stems, since wildflowers have much sturdier roots and stems than store-bought flowers,…
A Conrad Argosy
1942 edition of A Conrad Argosy, a collection of Joseph Conrad short stories illustrated with woodcuts by Hans Alexander Mueller.
This 1929 copy of Bambi by Felix Salten was purchased at Village Antiques & Collectibles, Succasunna, NJ. First published in 1923 in Austria, this environmentally-conscious work was translated into English in 1928 and released in North America by Simon & Schuster. The Disney adaptation had many changes, including adding sidekick characters Flower and Thumper.