Book Cataloguing

The last few weeks of August have been rather difficult, as I have been very much under the weather. We've spent more time in the house than usual and, as I haven't had a lot of energy, Chris suggested that I spend some time sorting out books and cataloguing my collection of 20th century juvenile fiction.

I started a list of these books many years ago, mainly so I didn't keep on buying the same books! But, over the years I've slipped and not always added books when I find them. Moving house gave me a chance to sort out my children's books, so that they are mostly now in our downstairs sitting room, with overspill in other rooms around the house.

The collection dates back to my childhood when I developed an interest in books from the 1920s to 1950s. I'm not sure what started this passion. Possibly, discovering authors like Angela Brazil and Elinor M Brent Dyer, was where it all began. Or, my godmother giving me all of her girls' school stories might have been a factor. Certainly, her Girls' Own Annual from 1934 got me hooked on old annuals. I don't really know, I just know that by the time I was 9 or 10, I was hooked and the passion has grown and grown.

Over the years I have collected Oxenham, Brent Dyer, Fairlie Bruce and Brazil as well as the less poular May Wynne, May Baldwin and Ethel Talbot. Mary Gervaise and Irene Mossop have been more recent additions along with Mabel Esther Allan and Gwendoline Courtney. There are so many authors, some prolific, some writing only one or two titles. I love all of them.

I discovered Jane Shaw's books in a small bookshop in Skipton and have gone on to collect all the titles. Shaw's Susan books make me laugh everytime I read them as do her books about the Moochers. It's such a shame that the Moochers and the Prefects was lost and never published! I searched and searched for the House of the Glimmering Light and celebrated massively when I found it!

I also collect career books, pony books and mystery and adventure books. Malcolm Saville is a firm favourite, as are Geoffrey Trease and Enid Blyton. I adore the dustwrappers, so bright and colourful. Finding the hard-to-find books has become something of a passion and certainly internet sites such as Abe and EBay have helped, but so have a number of bookseller friends including TP Books and Peakirk Books. Both Lou and Heather have eagle eyes when it comes to spotting the unusual and scarce.

My list is now up to date and my to read pile has grown dramatically so now I'm all ready for cooler Autumn days, fresh coffee and books!