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Saturday, November 7, 2009
People usually ask, “What’s new at the bookstore?” (and something always is), but since a large percentage of my stock at Dog Ears Books consists of used books, sometimes the most interesting “new” item is not new at all. There are, for instance, sweet old Modern Library volumes. (I fell in love with ML years ago when my mother worked in a bookstore during the holiday rush.) There are old Little Golden Books, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and the Black Stallion. People tend to ooh and ah over the “Oz” titles. And then, every once in a while, through the door walks something I haven’t seen before, like the Christmas 1932 issue of a French art magazine.
L’Illustration was published weekly beginning in the mid-1800s. The pages of drawings and engravings in its 90th year, along with the advertisements, offer an exciting picture of the magic of the 1930s for those with money. Visit Spain, buy a Waterman fountain pen, give electric appliances for Christmas! I like the candy, food and toy ads best.
The Noël 1932 issue is particularly desirable, owing to the inclusion of a signed Louis Icart print, “Le Jardin Japonais,”
but every page, whether fine or commercial art, is a treat to the eye.
The sun is shining, the air is balmy, Sarah and I had a great time outdoors this morning, and it feels like spring--yet I'm having a little early Christmas here where everything old is new again.