melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-02-17 02:49 pm

(no subject)

So, way back in, um, August, [personal profile] skygiants posted about Armed Services Edition paperbacks that were printed in special editions for serving military in WWII, and I mentioned I owned one and said if I could ever figure out where it was shelved I would post pictures.

Well, I didn't manage to find it until November, and by then I had quit Tumblr for self-defense, so my lazy method of using Tumblr as an image host wasn't happening. But DW just rolled out a gui for its image hosting! So, only six months later, here are the pictures!

The one I own is "An Almanac for Moderns", which is basically a book of 365 short essays about nature and science, to be read one a day for a year. So I was almost right when I said I thought it was a field guide, yet couldn't find it shelved with the field guides. It's pretty fun, actually, but I could never stick with one chapter a day. As you might guess for an edition that was meant to be small and was published during the WWII paper shortages, the pages are very thin and very delicate seventy years later. (And I still haven't figured out why the sideways binding; to me it makes it more difficult to read, although maybe when it was newer it meant you could lay it flat on a table to read more easily?)


Front cover, with a standard mass-market paperback for scale


Armed Services Edition blurb


Attempting to read it


And flat


List of other titles


Back cover

(There's a few more uploaded in my dw images, if you can figure out how to get there....)

As is visible in a couple of the photos, my book has a single staple reinforcing the binding, which is a large part of what makes it hard to read. I can't tell if this was part of the standard binding or it was added by a later owner. It doesn't seem to be a later addition? It's definitely not a standard staple - you would have needed a heavy-duty stapler and staples - and the binding isn't falling apart in such a way that it seems needed. So IDK unless [personal profile] skygiants knows!

And while I am posting images of cool old books I own, if you have ever been to an American public school you are probably familiar with the idea of a "marble composition book." I don't know if you ever wondered why those were a thing, but I bought a couple of marble composition books about a year ago that had somebody's school exercises from the mid-19th century in them, and the covers were actually marbled! It does make sense, I guess, that "not quite the cheapest" notebooks in the past would have actually marbled covers, but that's so divorced from what we get today that it never even occurred to me.




(the set of books I found also included an account books of day-to-day expenses in the late 19th century. Someday I am going to figure out where the dude was living and donate it to a historical society. They came with 0 provenance, so that didn't help.)

I am actually continuing to make substantial progress on the "sort all the books" project! I may start posting polls so you all can help me decide what to read off my long-unread fiction piles next - I am thinking "fuck, marry, kill" format where you get to decide if I have a sudden night of ill-considered passion, or continue my long-term relationship with having it in my bedroom, or get rid of it unread.

And finally, here is a picture of a cat:
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)

[personal profile] alatefeline 2017-02-18 02:46 am (UTC)(link)
That cat has an excellent blanket! And is an excellent cat, because cat.
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)

[personal profile] alatefeline 2017-02-18 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
It's awesome! :D

*purrs*