As promised, I present to you my special library find – The Book of Ancient Greeks by Dorothy Mills. I would like to start featuring beautiful old books here more often, so you might see similar posts in the near future. As for this little cutie, I couldn’t resist its charming exterior and not brag about it. There is something about hardcover books the size of a paperback that really draw me in. The chunky, short volume with its thick, luxurious pages and foxed edges is simply divine to the touch. I love how the cover looks like a newspaper clipping and has a little summary on the front. Please forgive me for leaving my interlibrary loan sticker on and not letting you see the whole thing more clearly, but those are the rules I have to follow. I couldn’t find the exact year inside besides the original 1925 publication and an indication that this is a twenty-second impression. The publisher seems to be G. P. Putnam’s Sons, which is now part of Penguin Group.
The inside is just as precious. Right after the table of contents there is a gorgeous fold out map of Greece and its surroundings printed in a rich yellow. Call me a design nerd, but I love everything about this map, from the size to the quality of inking. At the back there is another folded supplement – a table of dates and important cultural notes, which I will be copying to my notebook for future references. In the same section I found a good chunk of glossy black and white photos of Greek art and architecture. To add a pang of nostalgia, this book also has two library lending cards with stamps dating all the way to the sixties. The cards state that the book belongs to Thelma Fanning Memorial Library in Nanton, AB. Hey, I’ve never even heard of Nanton before, and I know all kinds of small towns in Alberta! That’s kind of exciting to receive a book from an unfamiliar place. Should I leave a little letter in between the pages to the like-minded stranger far-far away?