Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Precious family books and memories

My dream is to have a home library...a whole room dedicated to an indulgence in books.

I don't usually hold regrets in life, however there is one thing that niggles me on a regular basis. When we emigrated to Australia I gave away boxes and boxes and boxes of books...ouch, it pains me to type this!! I still managed to hold onto hundreds of them and they are stacked on a bookcase and fill a cupboard in the study....but there were many more that didn't make it :(

Anyhow, let me share with you some of the more precious ones that made the journey across the seas... 

These belonged to my great grandparents, and some are over a hundred years old. 

I wonder why my great grandfather bookmarked these pages?
I imagine him holding the same page open and reading the poem Y Fwyalchen (The Blackbird)

These books are the treasures of my great grandparents Jack and Annie Griffiths and their daughter, my grandmother Megan. I never knew Jack and Annie, but having these books gives me some connection to their world. I knew and loved my grandmother Megan, she was a very special person in my early life. I hold on to the memories of my childhood with her and my grandad. We would spend hours and hours reading and playing together...she taught me a great deal, and I'm told that we are very much alike.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (plus a smaller 'How to read and enjoy Shakespear') has been passed down through the generations, and I'm keeping it safe so that I can also pass it to my little Sibs when she gets older. She'll be able to add her name to follow her mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Here's two editions of the same novel, one is the first edition that belonged to my great grandfather and the other is mine. I studied this book at school, and at the time didn't know that there was another copy in the family...

And here we are with my generation of childhood books...

There are echoes of the past here with the Secret Seven books. On Sibs's bedside table last night she had one Secret Seven from Santa 2010, and one of my old copies... and so it goes on...

During a recent bedroom and playroom tidy up, I set aside a pile of books to give away. An hour later the large pile of giveaways was down to about six books...Sibs couldn't bear to part with them. There is now yet another box of books stored away.

I wonder if generations to come will still feel the magic of books?

I hope so!

14 Comments and thoughts:

  1. Bendigedig!

    Bethan Mair x

  2. I hope so too - my son is always surrounded by a pile before bed too... so there's hope! You have some wonderful books to treasure (and haul around the world!)... A x

  3. What treasures! BTW, I tried Welsh Cakes for the first time and loved them - yum! XOL

  4. Treasures indeed! A good portion of our library is made up of our childhood books and those from my grandparents. Love them all. Our littlest one carries a pile of old Dr Seuss everywhere with her and insists on us breathing in that old book smell... smells like strawberries she says. Bliss! Georgie x

  5. if you and i {and it seems we are EXACTLY the same} continue to make piles and then change our minds and hold on to all our books...our children will also love them - an intrinsic part of who they are and family history....

    i love this post...
    i must admit if i am at oxfam or car-booting and i see a book that has been written in...with love from someone to a child....i usually add that to our collection too...i just can't bear for it to sit there unnoticed!

    melissa x

  6. I love this post. I am the same, and I have the same regrets. I got rid of a lot of books when we moved here, and also left a lot in a very potentially damaging storage shed (ie. locked in a shed under our house in Brisbane...! Hello, rain!!) I love a house to be filled to the brim with books, and to have books that belonged to my Mum and Grandparents too. I love inscriptions, and I love the smell of old books.
    I think there will always be a place for books.
    x Rhiannon
    ps. going to finally make the Welsh Cakes this weekend ;)

  7. What wonderful treasures. We also had to part with lots of books when we moved to Italy, so I understand how you feel.

  8. Oh, I sure hope
    so!! And believe
    me, I have had many
    of those same regretful
    moments over things
    I've parted from when
    we've either moved OR
    I've gotten a bee in
    my bonnet about tidying
    up and simplifying,
    which perhaps is overrated!!
    Happy Weekend,
    xx Suzanne

  9. Wow. The pictures of your ancestors books made me feel stragely emotional. I have Welsh ancestors (five generations back) including Morgans and Griffiths. It's just amazing that you still have the pages folded back where your great grandfather left off...

  10. I'm back :) Thank you so much for joining Post Of The Month Club! I hope you will join next month too. Wishing you a lovely rest of the week, my Welsh friend :) XOL

  11. How cool are those! Great photos. And it is funny how a book can tell more of a story than what is written on its pages :)
    Stopped over from Post of the Month Club! Have a good one.

  12. Our family moved to this area when it was still very wild and unsettled. I have a small book written by a cousin about a visit in the early 1900's to my great-great grandparents farm. That book is a treasure to me. I love the brief glimpse it provides of these people who shaped my family.

  13. Amazing treasures - no wonder they are so precious to you.

  14. Beed here before but wanted to let you that I called by again from Happy Homemaker UK as participating in Post of the Month.