I've been put in the mind of old books recently. Here are a few of the antique books I have in my collection.
The Century Cookbook
Cookbook from 1899 designed to illuminate the practice of "modern" cooking. These days what it illuminates is that people back then ate some pretty disgusting stuff that took all day to cook.
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Not sure of the exact title, but this is a nursing textbook from the early 1900s. No matter what, you cannot imagine the crazy sh*t in the book. Also some amazing social commentary, such as the author's advice that it's the rich, high-class women who are the biggest hypochrondriacs, complainers and pain-in-the-butts, whereas poor women tend not to complain and are a lot sturdier!
Revolt in the Desert
Abridged version of T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Published in 1926, this book was a gift from my mother during the time in about 1990 when I was *obsessed* with Lawrence of Arabia. I don't think I actually ever read this all the way through but I treasure it.
The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling
I loved Tom Jones the movie, so I got the book out the library. Looooooved it. Hysterical stuff and unexpectedly so since it was first published in 1749. It isn't "aged" at all. Anyway, I put it on my wish list of books for Christmas one year and my mother got it in her head not to get me just an ordinary paperback, but a huge (it's a long book), leather-bound, illustrated, limited edition copy from 1900. It's signed by the artist. A thing of beauty!
The Circle of Knowledge
Giant all-in-one encyclopedia that used to come out every year. Mine is from 1917 I think. It's supposed to be an everyman's guide to everything, but I've found it more useful as a guide to seeing what people *didn't* know back then and the massive cultural assumptions they embraced. There's a section on race that says the most amazing things, such as blacks are "easily enslaved" and that Jews are "scheming." And you can tell them all apart through phrenology of course!
That's the first batch. I have more, but I need to be home to see.