Antique Store Books!
I thought it would be fun to list a few literary gems that I’ve found in antique stores. There’s something so thrilling about finding a beautiful old book tucked away on a crowded shelf!
First up: Dorrance Doings (1906) by Carolyn Wells. I had never heard of this one, which surprised me because I’m a Carolyn Wells fan, and it turned out it was actually the second book in a little-known duology. I promptly read the first book on Project Gutenberg before turning to this one, a sweet story about a trio of siblings.
Several years ago, I was excited to find this out-of-print book that I’d been searching for on the bottom shelf at a lovely antique store. The Secret Language (1960) by Ursula Nordstrom is a charming story about two girls at boarding school who devise their own secret language (that consists of only a few key phrases!) and build a clubhouse in the woods. The best part of this book is the oh-so-real interactions between the girls and the witty dialogue. Recommended for anyone who enjoys the books of Jean Little, Noel Streatfeild, or Beverly Cleary. This book is a mash-up of those three authors’ writing!
The Janitor’s Girl (1956) by Frieda Friedman was a book I was specifically looking for, so I was happy to find it. (How often do you ever stumble across the obscure vintage book you’re wanting?) I had previously enjoyed this author’s Carol (another antique store find!) and this one was fun as well.
Here’s huge favorite of mine: Return to Gone-Away (1961) by Elizabeth Enright. I have a newer reprint of this, but I couldn’t resist buying this 1960s paperback as well. The Gone-Away Lake books are like a breath of fresh summer air! If you’ve enjoyed them (and they MUST be read in order), be sure to check out this blog post I wrote last year about discovering a possible unfinished third manuscript.
Just Patty (1911) by Jean Webster had to come home as well. I’d read the first book in the series (or second? I believe they were published in non-chronological order), and knew I’d want this one too. It was a huge delight!
I also found these fabulous Penny Parker mysteries by Mildred Wirt (the original author of the Nancy Drew books)! There are many more books in this series, but I was glad to find three matching volumes to start my collection. My favorite of these was The Vanishing Houseboat (1939).
What are some of your favorite literary treasures found in antique store? Let me know in the comments!