Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Gift From My Neighbour

I love the way a kid's brain works.

Tonight, my next-door neighbour called, as he sometimes does, and said he'd been cleaning out the garage and found some of his (grown) kids' old books, and would my kids be interested in them? As both my boys are avid readers, and knowing he'd have some classic English fare there (his late wife was a British expat), I told him to bring them on over.

After I hung up, I told Firstborn that Mr. Brown* was coming by with some new books for him. He looked up at me, all excited, and said:

"Will he be in costume?!!"

I had to try hard not to laugh out loud at the thought of the sixty-something farmer from next door, who had been erecting snow fence in his fields all day in the cold and rain, putting on a clown suit before swinging by our place to drop something off. Firstborn seemed pretty disappointed when I told him no.

But look at what was amongst the piles of Beano annuals!

The first full-length novel featuring Peter, Janet and the gang, along with their (probably snooty) dog, Scamper! It's The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton (Rah-ther!). One look at this old-timey copy told me we'd stumbled across something with a bit of history to it. So I opened it up and had a look at the inside cover.

A heartfelt message from someone's Auntie, and what looks like some sort of library marking system. Did they not have the old cards and pockets, with the Dewey Decimal System numbers back then?! In any case, this book was borrowed from somewhere on July 3rd, 1959 and was due back a week later. By my calculations, that makes it 50 years, 3 months and 10 days past due!

What do you suppose the late charges would be on that?!
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Suburban Princess said...

Oh I just had flashbacks to my childhood! The Secret Seven were the best!!!
I used to get a Beano annual every Christmas from Santa!

laterg8r said...

that is so funny that your son thought he'd come in costume LOL :D

i bet everyone has a book that they forgot to return :D

In Real Life said...

Ooooooh...I just love old books! My daughter has a copy of a Corner House Girls book that has a happy birthday message from daddy, written on the inside, and is dated 1924.

Meeko Fabulous said...

I love finding old books with stuff written in the inside covers. It really does give it a sense of history and just makes you wonder what this book has gone through and seen sitting on people's shelves . . . Ahhh . . . If this ol' book could talk . . .