New Book Acquisition - Not for the field
Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:01 PM
Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:07 AM
Posted 26 March 2014 - 11:07 AM
Lovely tome! Scans, in PDF, can be found on Google books. Congrats on a lovely library edition. I'd be curious as to the ownership history of that volume, David.
Macp (and others),
First, thanks for the comments. I was fortunate that this was a "right time/right place" sort of situation.
The provenance of this volume was not known, however, it is interesting in that it has signs of having been rarely opened, if at all. It is an original London published edition (there were several editions of this book, including a USA published edition through London publishers... those are marked a bit differently).
It was apparently on display in a private library (as you noted the library binding), but not read. The inside endpapers (front and back, pastedown and loose) and the edges (top, foreedge, and bottom) are hand marbled, with gilding on all cover edges (which is a nice touch), borders of the panels, and the back spine (as you can see in the photograph). The aging of the book appears to be primarily (and normal) from sitting in a bookshelf and little else. It compares favorably to other volumes that I have seen of similar age.
I was pretty excited to find this book and be able to add it to my library. It represents a small bit of important astronomical history and has some sentimental value to me, as well.
Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:57 PM
Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:12 PM
Posted 29 March 2014 - 11:23 AM
Posted 29 March 2014 - 11:47 PM
That is a really interesting and good question. One reason that this is interesting to me is because I have actually spent a fair amount of time with some other old and meaningful books (which came from the good graces of others and something I don't take for granted!).
The first time I held something like this, it was the Principia, or at least, that was the first book that day. Actually, that particular day, my head went on overload, since I held and perused the Principia, Uranometria, Revolutionibus, Sidereus Nuncius, Bode's Uranographia, Robert Recorde's Castle of Knowledge (all original/first editions), plus several others (such as the Almagest, 1515 Latin edition). I would, over the next couple of years, get to revisit these books, and others, a few more times, reading them, taking notes, making comparisons between editions, etc.
As someone else noted, that first day after I left the library, I was having a bit of a problem putting simple words together to make a sentence. It was a bit of an emotional thing for me, not just seeing, but touching and reading these books that represented points of time in history when our view of the universe changed and became just a bit bigger. And this was no longer an academic ideal, a picture reference in a text book, or something pretty to say. Seeing these books made it quite real.
I look over my words here and I have to say, I still don't think they really capture what it felt like. So, with respect to your challenge, I think I failed miserably. But it was a nice reminder for me. Thank you for asking.
As a footnote, and not to be morbid, but if you have books that you value, new or old, don't let them be auctioned to books-by-the-pound store when you pass on. Make certain they have a good home where they will be appreciated when you pass on, be it a school, university, library, etcetera. I have really learned to appreciate how precious books like this are, and how easily they can be lost to history.
Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:02 AM
Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:40 PM
It was a bit of an emotional thing for me, not just seeing, but touching and reading these books that represented points of time in history when our view of the universe changed and became just a bit bigger.
I understand that feeling well. I love going through old books at my nearby university library, especially ones in the rare book collections. I'm not sure what it is either....but its like some direct link to the past. Actually, that's precisely what it is.