30 October 2005

Books from the Past

I'm toying with buying (which means I'm nosing around E-bay) a set of the Collier's Junior Classics again.

According to this site, Collier Targets Children with Junior Classics, Collier's intended this set of ten books as a child's counterpart to the Harvard Classics (a.k.a. "The Five Foot Shelf," which figured in an early episode of The Waltons). The set I would be looking for would be 1960 or earlier, as after that, Collier redid the volumes and arranged the stories under different categories. I have a single volume from that later set, the holiday volume, which I do enjoy, but the older set has a nostalgic interest as well.

In my early elementary school years, my best friend was a girl who was also named Linda. She lived one street down and several houses further on. Her older sister was already married, but her older brother's room was upstairs across the hall from her. One of the fascinating things in his room was a set of these Collier's Junior Classics.

As I got into fifth grade, Linda's and my interests started to diverge, plus she made two friends I really didn't like all that much. When these two girls were around all they wanted to talk about were clothes and boys. I thought boys, at least in the fashion they were talking about them, were boring, and clothes even more so. I confess that more often than I should I would excuse myself to go to the bathroom, sneak upstairs, and filch a copy of one of her brother's Junior Classics volumes to read for a while to get away from the ordeal of frills and fashion.

It was in "The Animal Book" that I first read one of my favorite dog stories, Albert Payson Terhune's "One Minute Longer."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Linda, I am doing some sorting and cleaning through closets and found my 10 volume set of the Junior Classics by Collier.  I decided to explore around the internet for information about the set and came across your blog.  My parents bought them before I was born along with the big encyclopedia set and now I have them.  The copyright information page says:  Copyright, 1938, 1948, 1949, by P.F. Collier & Son Corporation, Forty-eighth printing, 1954. Let me know if you are still interested in an earlier set than the set you already have. My e-mail is dplummer1227@gmail.com