Marcia Strykowski

Beloved Old Treasures

There’s something about old books. And I don’t mean a musty odor. My books, believe it or not, don’t smell at all and they’ve been on my shelves for more years than I care to share. Already antiques at the time, I bought some of the oldest ones from a used bookstore when I was a kid. Above is a peek at my home library.

The Mary Jane series was written by Clara Ingram Judson (1879-1960). My copy was published in 1921 by Grosset & Dunlap in NY. There’s an inscription inside the book which reads: Betty Lou from Ginnie, Eddie, and David—Christmas 1937. Anybody know Betty Lou?

Jack & Jill by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)—no copyright (perhaps it’s on the missing dust jacket?)—was published by the now defunct Goldsmith Publishing Company in Chicago.

The Secret Stair by Pemberton Ginther, was published in 1932 by Cupples & Leon Company in NY which was founded in 1902 and then acquired by Platt & Munk in 1956. The author Mary Pemberton Ginther (1869-1959) was also a successful artist. My copy was once owned by someone named Rudie Lindgren. I wonder what became of Rudie.

The three green books were published by The Mershon Company, an active publishing house between 1897 and 1906. These books were all written by Laura Lee Hope, a pseudonym used by at least ten authors who wrote many series for children under the Stratemeyer Syndicate.

The Bobbsey Twins has a 1904 copyright and the following inscription: Miss Beth Austin, Elm Street, Salisbury.

One of my Bunny Brown books was owned by a Dorothy Walmsley, who lived on Fairmont Street in Malden, MA in 1935. Many years later I bought her book for fifty cents.

Below are two inside views of Trending Into Maine by Kenneth Roberts. This book was beautifully illustrated by N. C. Wyeth.

Although eBooks may be coming on strong, I don’t think they’ll ever hold the stories and memories ‘real’ books contain. 🙂


  1. Ashley

    What a beautiful post!


  2. What a wonderful collection! And what tidy bookshelves too! 🙂


  3. mirkabreen

    I don’t know about Ebooks, and despite my own having an electronic version, I still don’t own an Ereader. I can’t tell what they will evolve into. But I can tell you that your library is gorgeous in my eyes. Even the reading chair is inviting like no hip virtual space could be.,


    • Thanks for stopping by, Mirka. I don’t have an eReader either, no need!


  4. No eReader for me, either. My husband bought me a beautiful 1st edition set of Enid Blyton books for Christmas and I can’t even bring myself to touch them.


  5. leandrajwallace

    What a warm, inviting place! Rooms with books are always so peaceful feeling. And I like your Humpty Dumpty bookends!


    • Thanks, Leandra! Those bookends have been with me for many years, too. 🙂


  6. Bette Norton

    Your library is beautiful Marcia!! I love your cherished old books, especially the one illustrated by N. C. Wyeth!! I agree there is nothing like holding a beautiful book in your hands to read!! I think a lot of people are missing out using eBooks!! A beautiful post!!


  7. What a great collection:) I love old books too.


  8. Jerry

    Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your page. I’m really impressed by your blog.


  9. I love a good shelf of books, and read both printed and ebooks (though I don’t have an e-reader either. I read on my laptop and it takes some adjustment. With the pricing of ebooks, I could buy more stories and support more authors that way. So both ways work for me.) Oh Marcia, I wonder if you’ve ‘met’ or visited Barbara Fisher’s blog on vintage children’s books? She’s an absolutely lovely person who sells and blogs on vintage books over at March House Books.


    • Great point about eBooks and thanks for the blog recommendation. I’ll check it out!


  10. Hello Marcia, I adore your home library the chair and lamp are in exactly the right spot. I could sit there all day! I love the illustrations on the three books published by Mershon. I would love to own those.
    Thank you for calling in the other day I appreciate your visit and comments. Barbara


  11. Hi Marcia,
    It is great to see that anywhere some people have the same “hobbies”…
    I also have books that I got during my chilhood. I save them and love them!
    I nearly have all the “The famous five” by Enid Blyton (in French : Le Club des Cinq”)
    and a few others like these series :
    I keep all the books I read. My books are treasures that I cherish…
    Besides, I am a collection addict! I collect “The little prince” (from Saint Exupery) in every language . I have 22 at the moment.
    I also collect bookmarks (about 4,000 !!!!!) and I exchange them when I have 2 or more the same. I have created a website :

    Maryse (from France)


    • Hi Maryse— You have wonderful collections. I love “The Little Prince,” and your bookmarks are amazing. Thank you for sharing your treasures! 🙂


  12. Meg

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


  13. Evan

    Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!


  14. Kathy Fisette

    I saw your comment above concerning “The Secret Stair”. Rudie Lindgren became a librarian and had a love affair with books her whole life. I was a high school member of her library club and she always encouraged my love of books. She was a lovey lady and books were here life. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 88. I will always remember her fondly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Kathy. How wonderful for you to have been in Rudie’s library club! I appreciate you taking the time to share this interesting information with us. And now I know who previously owned my book! 🙂


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