The next book up is “Lame Bessie; or, Simple Faith,” a children’s book in the “Fern Glen Series.” It was written by H.H.F., whose full name I have not been able to find. This copy says it was published by D. Lothrop & Co. out of Boston in 1875, but I found an 1874 edition of “Publisher’s Weekly” that lists the book available for sale for $1.
The cover of this copy is worn, but otherwise fully intact on the outside. It needs some mending on the inside, to reattach the cover, but the binding is still holding well. It’s dirty and moldy in some places, so it may be first book to be subject to some cleaning experimentation.
I haven’t been able to find another copy of this book online anywhere, but I did find some other entries in the series, one called “Overcoming” by Elizabeth K. Churchill, and one called “Fern Glen; or, Lilian’s Prayer” by M.H. Holt. That latter book may not be related, as it was published by a different publishing house, but the names seem to close to discount.
I’m going to kick things off on The Kipling Project by spotlighting the books I have found and am planning on restoring. The first up is “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. This particular edition is the “New Illustrated” edition, published by Little, Brown, and Company in 1927.
It’s an early combined edit; the artwork, cover, and format are the same as the first combined edition, printed in 1896.
My copy is in fairly rough shape. The cover and the spine need a lot of work; all of the gilding has worn off the spine, and the fabric is torn in several places. But inside the binding and pages are still good.
This is one of the books I am currently planning on keeping for myself. It’s a childhood favorite, and it doesn’t appear to be worth anything at the moment, especially in it’s current state.
Welcome to The Kipling Project, the digi-journal of my newest hobby project. Who am I? Shelby Loebker, giant nerd, full-time book lover, and occasional wearer of pants. I’m a writer and editor working on the last year of my B.F.A.
What am I doing? I’m diving into book restoration, because I was recently lucky enough to stumble upon some old, and hopefully rare or at least somewhat collectible, books.
Here’s how it went down:
My family is really involved with the local public library, and were volunteering to help organize a new annex. They went through all of the old books in storage, many of which were thrown away, while others were sold in book sales or simply returned to storage. Basically they got first pick at the cream of the crop, meaning I got first pick at the cream of the crop.
I didn’t plan on getting anything valuable or particularly life changing — I don’t know anything about antiques or restoration — but as things went along, they found too many books that I couldn’t let be thrown away (and also just wanted to have).
So here we are.
Thanks for asking.