pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

American Agriculturist, January 1880

My name is Elaine, and I am addicted to books.  

We have a few books around the place - from a very small stack in my craft corner to whole walls filled with
books, some of the shelves run the width of the house (we live in a long, narrow one)
and encompass windows.
One day we may have enough bookshelves.  
This book caught my attention a few days ago.  


- apologies, for some reason blogger won't allow this photo to load correctly.  It shows more varieties of horrible barbed wire than you can shake a stick at.
Of far more interest to me was the design for this house which would have cost $4,000.00 complete - I haven't any idea of what that would equate to today, but wow.  What a house.  

The floor plans are given plus dimensions of floor space, ceiling heights, details of closets, mantel shelves, etc.  flooring materials, plastering, plumbing work.

I just can't stop dipping into it.  It has become my bedtime reading.

There are gems like this:

The 10th Duchess of Airdrie who was one of the most remarkable cows on record.  She has just given birth to her ninth calf "8th Duchess of Hillhurst".  The grand total from sale of the nine calves from "10th Duchess of Airdrie" was $247,600.00.  As they put it - not a small sum for one cow!

How much would that equate to today.  Mind-boggling!

My name is Elaine and I am so pleased that I am a book addict, I don't plan on taking a cure.


  1. I love reading those old catalogs and magazines too. You have a terrific book collection. I recently got rid of many of my old books at Half Price Books. I didn't get much for them because they were book club editions or else there was no demand for them. In that case, they send them to the recycler. It's sad, but it beats burning or the landfill!

  2. Oh my, those bookshelves! Is it possible to have bookshelf envy? The way it runs around the top of the window is just perfect!
    Running out of room for more books is honestly something I worry about, but this looks like a great way to make a bit more space!

  3. WOW. We had to donate a lot of our collection to Friends of the Library to make room for more. I understand.

  4. Hi Ms Sparrow, Many of the books have been bought very cheaply at car boot sales and auctions over the years. In case George ever reads this, I was practically paid to take them away!! Old catalogues are wonderful.

  5. Hi Nilhuanwen, I was lucky because George made all the shelving. He loves working with wood and is planning to make us some more. I don't think it will be a problem to fill them!

  6. Oh1 I covet your bookshelves! And right in front of them would be a traditional, solid wood library table. In reality, I have one wall of bookcases (that also display the pottery I've collected) and two three shelf bookcases. So, I have to do the periodic purge.

  7. Hi Joanne, The awful thing is that I do keep thinning the collection and donating boxes full to charity, but I swear that no sooner do I do that than the shelves fill up again.

  8. Hi Janet, I love the idea of a library table. I bet that combination of your pottery collection and your books must look pretty special.

    I have to weed out some books this week, I am not looking forward to it!

  9. Aah Yes! Books. Where to put the next one? I don't want a cure either.

  10. Yes, yes, I know that the sensible thing is to borrow books from the library...but I want to see them all lined up on the shelves....categorized and in alphabetical MY house not the library.
    Jane x
    PS Please stroke your bookcases for me!

  11. having a tiny cottage we only have a bookcase up in the bedroom! oh I wish we could one day have a library

    having said this.... with so many kindles in the world... lets celebraste books

  12. I used to have book shelves like those but alas moving many times made it necessary to whittle them down, so much to peruse on a cold winter's evening there and much to keep one company between the pages and lines.

  13. Hi Doohie, Books are wonderful. I have had a life-long delight in them. My husband can't understand how I can have several books on the go at the same time - it was a habit I started when the children were young and I could only snatch a few minutes here and there, so I used to leave a book in each room, in the hope of a moment or two of peace!

  14. Hi Jane and Chris, I quite agree, although I do use the mobile library as well. It is one of my personal crusades - our local councils seem determined to diminish the service, especially those to rural communities. (Steps down off soap-box.) Books are wonderful.

    George will be delighted that you like his bookcases. He doesn't bring me flowers, he builds bookcases. Wonderful man!

  15. Hi John, A library extension perhaps? I keep a stash of books at the side of the bed because cold wintery nights I love the idea of going to bed early to read. The only trouble is that I always fall asleep after a couple of pages, it doesn't matter how good the book is.

    Kindles? I am a bookworm, I need paper!

  16. Hi Linda, I know what you mean about relocating and books! It does become difficult to hang on to them all.

    A good fire, a comfortable chair, a cup of tea and a pile of good books = happiness - especially on a wild and windy night!

  17. What a great book. And what a great houseful. I'm sure you realize you will never have enough bookshelves.

  18. Hi Mitch, It is a tatty old book (I have a special affinity with those) but packed with really interesting 'stuff'. Sadly, I have the type of brain which will retain all this useless information, but which lets me down with the useful things.

  19. Well, Elaine, I'd say we have the same sort of brain but that would be flattering myself.


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