Julie's Web Journal

More natterings than you can shake a stick at! Est. 2002

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Weekend Assignment: Book Connections

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


Where do you get your books from?

The answer, surprisingly, is not Amazon.com. I buy most of my new books at one local outlet of a chain store or another.

Yet, I have a passion for old books. I used to go to Ft. Worth every year for a used book sale. They had the most amazing stuff. I think the most I ever spent was $40, but for that I got a whole armload of rare books.

I collect Sherlockiana, or items related to Sherlock Homes. I found many a wonderful volume there. My favorite piece though, was found at a library sale. It was called The Private Life of the Queen, and author credit was to "A Member of the Royal Household." It used to belong to an educational institution called University of Plano. I'd no idea there had been such a place.

The book was published in the US in 1897, and this picture is opposite the title page:

victoria.jpg

Victoria, of course, was the reigning monarch during nearly all of the Great Detective's active years of practice. Before I could settle into the book, my friend, author P.N. Elrod (an avid Sherlockian herself - her character Charles Escott has much in common with Holmes) borrowed the book. She was delighted to discover the palace librarian was named Mr. Holmes.

The book has a cherished spot in my Holmes bookcase.

Extra Credit: What was the last book you read, and why?

That would be Margery Allingham's Traitor's Purse, an Albert Campion mystery. I was out of new reading material, and I grabbed it from the shelf. I tend to reread books. The problem with being a writer is that I tend to read books like a writer. Oh, I try not to, but I find that before long I'm paying more attention to plot structure and sentence construction than I am to the story. Sometimes it's more work than pleasure. Reading a book a second (or third) time allows me to enjoy it. I love the Campion mysteries, and always see and hear Peter Davison in my head when I read them. He was perfect for Albert Campion.

Karen, this gives me an idea. Perhaps I'll highlight an old book from the collection once in a while!

Tags:

Filed under: Weekend Assignment            
1/23/2009 4:21:06 PM


3  Comments |  Add yours!



Gravatar Karen Funk Blochersaid:
Coolness! But I can't decipher the handwriting above VR's royal dates. What does that say?

John at one time before I met him was trying to build a library of everything that was likely to be on Holmes' shelves in Baker Street. We still have some of those books.

K.

Date: 1/23/2009 4:58:27 PM

Gravatar Juliesaid:
It says: "Victoria R" and the years 1837-1897 below the signature.

Date: 1/23/2009 5:03:44 PM

Gravatar David H.said:
What was the last book you read, and why?

MacArthur's War: A Novel of the Invasion of Japan, Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson.

My middle name, Powell, is from a relative on my father's side of the family - Rear Admiral Paulus P. Powell. Uncle P's was on Nimitz's staff during the war and helped plan the thankfully-never-executed, Operation Downfall.

The book was a well-written and entertaining bit of alt. history.

Date: 1/26/2009 1:28:51 PM

Gravatar Karen Funk Blochersaid:
Coolness! But I can't decipher the handwriting above VR's royal dates. What does that say?

John at one time before I met him was trying to build a library of everything that was likely to be on Holmes' shelves in Baker Street. We still have some of those books.

K.

Date: 1/23/2009 4:58:27 PM

Gravatar Juliesaid:
It says: "Victoria R" and the years 1837-1897 below the signature.

Date: 1/23/2009 5:03:44 PM

Gravatar David H.said:
What was the last book you read, and why?

MacArthur's War: A Novel of the Invasion of Japan, Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson.

My middle name, Powell, is from a relative on my father's side of the family - Rear Admiral Paulus P. Powell. Uncle P's was on Nimitz's staff during the war and helped plan the thankfully-never-executed, Operation Downfall.

The book was a well-written and entertaining bit of alt. history.

Date: 1/26/2009 1:28:51 PM






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