So, I have addictions, like most people. Mostly I am pretty good about acquiring or consuming things I don’t need. But one exception is historical replica-type books. Like these ones:
These are just a few of the books from the relevant shelf; they’re just the ones that look the most different from each other. But I like all of them. Time Capsule is a series of books that Time magazine published back in the day reprinting articles from its pages in a given year. Sadly, the typography isn’t reproduced, and the photos aren’t that great. But the rest of these are much more faithful in their reproduction.
They’re both fascinating and, in the case of Advising the Householder on Protection Against Nuclear Attack, chilling. The Home Guard Manual makes me feel kind of bad, as well — it’s actually for the Australian Home Guard, and it’s in case of an invasion by the IJA, which would have been a pretty bad scene. If things in WWII had gone badly enough that the Japanese were staging a full-scale invasion of Australia, I’m not sure the Australian Home Guard would have the muscle to do it. It would have been pretty horrible.
But others are fantastic. If you, like me, don’t really have the scratch to fill your shelves with genuine antiquarian texts, this kind of thing is a great conversation starter. I’ve had some wonderful conversations just off the back of Dont’s For Husbands (for instance, we are informed that you shouldn’t spend too much time in your flying machine, lest it upset your wife). But in general, they’re interesting in that window-on-history way. The Sears-Roebuck catalogue is particularly amazing, with its glimpse of the aspirational durable household goods of 1909 America. What strikes me about it is just how wordy it is — people were willing to read a lot of text in order to be sold boilers and Masonic cufflinks and hate. Also, an amazing art collection, all in that fiddly engraved Victorian style.
So this is a thing that I like. Tomorrow: Movie Monday again.