Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog. Yesterday, I took a lovely trip to Portobello Road Market in London, and stumbled upon a book stall selling beautiful vintage books. The book seller told me that the books were over a hundred years old, and once I heard that I knew that I had to stop, have a proper look, and make the according purchases!! I’m so excited to share the three books that I bought with you, for a bargain price of £25 in total…
Now, it’s no secret on here that classics are my favourite genre of books (I talk about the classics that I still have to read here), and I absolutely love the history that comes with reading a book that is old enough to be classed as a “classic”. Now, this feeling is only amplified when you’re reading a first or second edition of a classic, printed 130 years ago!
The first book is “Cranford” by Elizabeth Gaskell, which has been on my TBR for quite a while. I have read “Wives and Daughters” by Elizabeth Gaskell and I quite enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to reading this one too.
The cover is absolutely beautiful – the picture is gold with a dark green background and the pages actually have a golden edge – so gloriously quaint!! Considering this book is 130 years old, the cover is understandably battered (the books all came in plastic covers) and simply adds to the effect of reading a classic printed in its day!
Can you imagine my delight when I discovered the first owner’s name penned so exquisitely on the first page – “S. Austen Leigh, 1891”! You best believe, I stood tracing my fingers over the letters and enjoying the idea that S. Austen Leigh was the first to enjoy this wonderful classic before this book fell into my hands. Although we are only left to wonder at the first name (Sarah, Susan, Sophie?)… I’m assuming it was a female!
I cannot get over how pretty the illustrations are!! This book cost £10! I was absolutely amazed by the cheap pricing and knew that I could not pass up such a great price for such a priceless 130-year-old book that I’m fairly certain I will love reading!
Next, my eyes fell on “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, which came in the form of two volumes. When the book seller saw that I was looking at “Great Expectations”, he became incredibly excited and started jumping up and down telling me how it was his favourite book! He began speaking rapidly and telling me about his favourite part! I told him that I hadn’t read it, and then he told me that I simply had to read it (which I knew!) – and when he told me that both books cost £15 in total, I knew that no more thought was required and I simply had to get it.
This too, is also beautifully illustrated with colour! Unfortunately, there is actually no date explicitly included on the cover or inside the first few pages of the book, but after a bit of research I realised that it is certainly over a 100 years old and may be included amongst one of the first few editions.
This is the first time that I have bought vintage books before, and the price definitely was a big encouragement considering it was around the same price or less that I would get for a modern copy of either of these books from any mainstream bookstore such as Waterstones.
I really enjoyed having a look around and choosing the books, it was such a great experience and I was definitely on a high afterwards – radiantly happy with my spontaneous purchases!!
Have you purchased old first editions of classics/vintage books before? Have you read these classics and would you recommend them?? Speak soon!