My book collection just increased by about 50,000 volumes. My husband and I, along with another local couple, just bought an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books. Read all about it here if you’d like, but as we’ve been talking about gardening books a lot this week, I thought I’d turn my attention to the store’s gardening section. (In this photo, it’s on the ground floor, left, right below that round mirror hanging from the banister)
This is not the place you go to buy the latest slick and gorgeous coffee table book, although who knows, maybe we’ll bring some of those in. (Oh, wait. I just realized I can buy new books at wholesale. I’m very, very afraid.) No, this is the kind of place where you find dusty old wonders like these titles from my own bookshelf–many of which I bought at Eureka Books at one time or another over the years.
Rousseau’s Letters on Botany, bound in leather, with dreamy hand-colored plates
An incredibly fragile old leather-bound volume of Loudon’s Encyclopedia of Gardening, set in incredibly tiny type and packed with all sorts of good gardening advice from the pre-chemical era, most of which involves the liberal application of dung and muck.
Five Acres and Indpedence: A Practical Guide to the Selection and Management of the Small Farm, a wonderful 1930s manifesto on small farming and off-the-grid living–before there was much of a grid.
Garden Clubs & Spades, a silly little book of light verse and New Yorker cartoons, printed in 1941, which includes a cartoon of two elegant ladies on the lawn of a lavish estate, looking at three newly-planted saplings. One of them is saying to the other, "I’m so angry with the maples."
And finally, an 1892 volume that has nothing to do with gardening except for the magnolia branch on the cover, but I bought it for the title and the useful advice therein: How To Be Happy Though Married.
Yes, one wonders. Well, if you’re ever up here behind the Redwood Curtain, do stop in and see how the gardening section is coming along.