This is a blog on reading, writing, and the bookish life. I read and blog about books on military history, biographies, leadership, management, books on books, and just about anything else I find interesting. Read at a whim!
(*Boards: The stiff binding material of a book is called a board. Every book has two boards, a front board and a rear board.)
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Photo courtesy of author
I've recently relocated to Rhode Island. A few weeks ago I wandered into an antique store in the quaint historic downtown of Newport. Most of the items in the store were expensive. Interesting stuff, no doubt, but when I spied a beautiful marble bust for three thousand dollars, I knew most of the items (or as you’ll soon see, almost all of them) were out of my price range. After a few minutes, however, I discovered a side room and in it a very small stack of books. In between two large, non-descript books, I found a slim book, about the size of a piece of paper. It looked to be in good condition. There was nothing written on the spine, so this of course made me curious.
I pulled out the thin book and read the title: Washington, The Nation’s Capital by William Howard Taft and James Bryce.
I was excited to learn that William Howard Taft -- our 27th President and later Chief Justice -- wrote a book about Washington D.C. And I later learned that the coauthor, James Bryce, was the British Ambassador to the US.
The owner was asking five dollars for the book. A pittance for some beautiful images and illustrations that made up this slim work. After further inspection, I realized the binding was beginning to come off the spine. That would explain the price. Oh well. One man’s trash is another’s treasure...so they say. I plucked down my cash and walked out with my find.
William Howard Taft(c) and James Bryce(r) via Wikipedia
Later, when I got home and gently turned the pages, I smiled when I came across a picture in the book (circa 1917) which showed a few sheep grazing in a green pasture. The caption read, “In the Suburbs of Washington.” My guess is where there was grass, there is now a mall -- or a highway.