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Old 02-02-2020, 10:36 AM
772 posts, read 434,408 times
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The oldest book in my collection is Mystery in Space, published in 1961. What is the oldest book in your collection? What year?
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:55 AM
Location: East Coast
3,806 posts, read 2,334,233 times
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Do you mean the book I have that was originally published earliest? Or the physical book that I have owned the longest? I have, for example, a copy of The Great Gatsby, published around 1925, but my copy is far newer, probably from the 2000s. I started my own personal collection of books, that I still have with me back in the early 90s, so I don't know which one at this point I had first.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:22 PM
Location: Wisconsin
2,883 posts, read 1,954,685 times
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Junior Miss by Sally Benson, 1941.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:57 PM
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A well-worn copy of the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook someone passed down to my mother, who then gave it to me. I don’t have the book in front of me and will have to look at its edition date. But it is obviously old. Many of the recipes reflect a different era of meats and other ingredients. Meats had more fat, and you could still buy stewing chickens in ordinary grocery stores. This book predated the advent of cake mixes and many convenience foods we take for granted now.

The other candidate is an even more well-worn copy of The Plague and I which I lucked upon in a used bookstore. It has an autograph that purportedly is the author’s. However, the bookstore owner told me he had literally just received the book the same morning I came in asking if they had any! Thus, he had not taken the time or expense to verify the signature. He said I could have the book without verification for $10 but if I wanted to get the scoop on whether the autograph was genuine and it turned out to be the real thing, the price would go way up.

I just wanted a copy to read again. The book was out of print and had not been reissued.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:55 PM
Location: The North Star State
2,578 posts, read 783,705 times
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My tastes lean strongly towards modern (generally, 1970-present; with a number of exceptions) literature.

That said, I own a copy of - and have read, and thoroughly enjoyed - Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899). I wouldn't call it part of a 'collection', though.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:24 PM
6,998 posts, read 3,814,807 times
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I got curious and looked at dates for the two books I listed.

The cookbook was first published in 1896 and my copy is the 1942 printing of the 1941 edition.

The Plague and I is the first edition of that book, published in 1948.
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:41 PM
Location: Canada
9,610 posts, read 9,014,921 times
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I have a copy of Told by Uncle Remus: Tales of the Old Plantation, from 1905.
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:14 PM
Location: Terramaria
967 posts, read 1,005,263 times
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The oldest book I've got is a collected volume of Shakespeare from the 1850s (don't recall the exact year at this point). I've got another book that was originally released earlier, but based on the impressions, is a much newer printing.

Oldest magazine is the December 1876 issue of St. Nicholas, a children's-themed magazine. Appropriately, it becomes a decoration at Christmastime. Yes, there was certainly life before even the days of the Lone Ranger on the radio for kids to be entertained to during those cold winters when you really had to be creative inside. Not surprisingly, there was a high emphasis on nature in addition to illustrated drawings, sheet music, and tips for things from cooking to sewing to stamp collecting.

Last edited by Borntoolate85; 02-04-2020 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:35 PM
11,119 posts, read 10,250,862 times
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I don't know exactly what, but I do have a few books from the late 19th century, probably around 1890 or so.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:01 PM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,499 posts, read 8,314,356 times
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The oldest of my hardcovers date from the late Fifties and early Sixties, but I'm a hard-core railroad buff, and have acquired a good-sized collection of Employee Timetables; these were schedules and instructions issued to all employees actually engaged in the physical operations of the railroad, and had to be carried, or at least accessible, at all times when on duty, and some could run well over one hunderd pages.

My oldest is a complete set for the Chicago and Alton, which served an area bounded by Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City, and dated 1922; the "Alton Road" was merged into the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio in 1947, and in turn to the Illinois Central Gulf in 1972. The ICG was in turn broken up an sold off piecemeal in the 1990s, but with the exception of its Chicago-St. Louis main line, now operated by Union Pacific. and which hosts Amtrak but sees very little freight service, most of the "Alton" has been abandoned, or downgraded for local freight use only.

My oldest hardcover is The Maine Two-Footers, by Linwood W Moody, published in 1959; this was a chronicle of a half-dozen-or-so lines -- regulated common carriers -- but operated with a gauge of only two feet between the rails. The last of them endured until 1943. Four of the locomotives used were rescued from scrapyards by cranberry magnate Ellis Atwood (Ocean Spray) and operated as a tourist attraction (The Edaville Railroad) until the early 1990s. The trackage was reincarnated as part of a "family" theme park some eight years later, but I can't testify as to the fate of the rolling stock.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 02-10-2020 at 09:49 PM..
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