The Cemetery of Forgotten Books
Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.

The only way you can truly get to know an author is through the trail of ink he leaves behind him. The person you think you see is only an empty character: truth is always hidden in fiction.


Walt Whitman faced multiple publishing dilemmas throughout his career, but when he began working James R. Osgood & Co. in Boston things seemed to be turning around.  Whitman was able to work with Osgood and design Leaves of Grass to look how he wanted: “a (plain) specimen in type, paper, ink, binding, &c. as bookmaking can produce—not for luxury however, but solid wear, use, reading, (to carry in the pocket, valise &c)—a book of about 400 pages to sell at $3” (Folsom 48).  Not long after the volume was published in 1881, the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice complained to the Massachusetts Attorney-General and called for Osgood to suppress Leaves and for Whitman to remove certain “obscene” poems (50).  Whitman did not comply and Osgood gave Whitman the plates and 225 sets of unbound sheets (51).  These plates are especially important because “All issues of Leaves after this are printed from the Osgood plates” (49).  Unsuccessful publishing ventures in England soon followed.  Whitman was able to find a new publishing house, Rees Welsh & Co. in Philadelphia which was soon taken over by David McKay.  McKay and Whitman issued another edition in 1882 under Rees Welsh & Co. and later under David McKay beginning in 1884. 

McKay’s later edition imitates the 1881 Osgood edition closely.  Side by side, you can see that the two publishers made use of the same emblems and olive-yellow book cloth.  The 1881 edition is slightly smaller—perhaps this is a result of Whitman’s desire to have the book fit well in a pocket. 

-Jillian P.

PS3201 1881 and PS3201 1884b

Folsom, Ed.  Walt Whitman: Whitman Making Books, Books Making Whitman, a Catalog and Commentary.  The University of Iowa, 2005.

"Seeing someone read a book you love is seeing a book recommend a person."
Reddit user coolstoryreddit  (via perfect)


Happy Miniature Monday!

This Monday I want everyone to mind their manners, which is why I have selected Don’t as this week’s feature.  Published in 1896, this book gives us a glimpse of manners and mores at the turn of the 20th century.  While many of these suggestions are problematic and highly outdated, there are a few that I can’t help loving, particularly this one:

Don’t have the habit of smiling or ‘grinning’ at nothing.  Smile or laugh when there is occasion to do either, but at other times keep your mouth shut and your manner composed.  People who laugh at everything are commonly capable of nothing.

Stop in and see this snarky little gem today!

Bunce, Olver Bell, Don’t .New York: D. Appleton and Co.1896

Charlotte Smith Miniature Collection: BJ1852 B85 1896

See all of our Mini Monday posts here

-Laura H.

Fodor’s gathered 20 of the world’s most stunning libraries, from a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mountains of South Korea to the modern incarnation of the legendary library of Ancient Alexandria.

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
C.S. Lewis  (via theloupgaroux)



Eleanor & Park is gonna be a movie. I just can’t… *cries happily* So I made this fan art to show how happy and proud I am for Eleanor & Park as well as the author, Rainbow Rowell. It’s really a fantastic news and I’m excited for it! Oh, I hope you guys like this fan art! :D