Never Judge a Book by Its Cover or Its Spine

A broken book spine. I happen to be in a mood right now and instead of falling deeper into said mood, I thought I’d write about the book with the broken spine. Sounds like a book title right there, doesn’t it?

I went to, what I believe to be, one of the best church rummage sales ever. I’ve also probably said that before about any other church rummage sale I’ve gone to. They didn’t sell clothes and that’s all I have to say. Not that I don’t like clothes, I mean, I wear them but, sometimes that’s all sales end up being.

This sale had multiple rooms. I’d go down a hall which would lead to a large open room which would lead to smaller rooms. Let’s not forget the large cafeteria or the sunroom in the back. Each room was filled to the brim.

The cafeteria is where I saw an unending supply of books. Unfortunately, for the older more fragile books, piling them into boxes full of other books so that people had to pull them up and out in order to toss them into another box already overflowing, wasn’t the best set up. Now that I think about it, they were probably donated that way. There were just too many to set them all out.

So, these handful of books I got just stood out to me. Was it the colors? The titles? Topics? Authors?

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6 antique books. What all the world's a seeking, Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, Heart Throbs, This is for you, A Lover's Tale, Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child
6 antique books. What all the world’s a seeking, Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, Heart Throbs, This is for you, A Lover’s Tale, Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child

None of these books are currently listed as I’m slow to get some things done. Except shipping. I ship same day if not, the next 😉

Out of this small batch of vintage books, the In Memoriam caught my eye. The fact that, upon opening it, the spine readily melted open and revealed itself which left me wondering what I was looking at. I’d posted about it on Instagram hoping someone would be able to come to my rescue on why the spine looks this way. Had it already been recovered? Is this how spines used to be made? Again, if anyone can tell me a bit about what’s going on here, I’d appreciate it.

As you can see the spine’s papers say things like, Bruises, Burns, Wounds, Frost-bite. The textblock is still intact and states a few incomplete sentences:

  • Suited to the class you desire to reach.
  • ready-written electrotypes will save you a great
  • work and will bring you substantial business

The story behind In Memoriam is that Tennyson’s friend, Arthur Henry Hallam died suddenly at age 22 in 1833. Tennyson was devasted so he wrote In Memoriam as a tribute to Hallam. I can’t verify the age of the book I have as it doesn’t have any copyright information but, he did write the book in 1850.

Here are a few links with more information:


British Library: Romantics & Victorians

About Home Book Publishing

Regardless of how damaged this book is, it’s beautiful. Flaws and all. That’s how I tend to look at most things. Perfection is overrated and you should never judge a book by its cover. Or so I’m told.

While these books aren’t listed, I do have a variety of books available in both my eBay & Etsy stores. Remember, some books may be on eBay and not on Etsy due to the books not being old enough.

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