A Little Celebration of a Small Accumulation

A Shelf of Books

I’m not so much a collector as I am an accumulator. When we were kids, my mother thought that my siblings and I should all collect something. I didn’t see the appeal, as I was too busy trying to read as many books as possible, so she ended up choosing something for me. Somewhere in my storage space is a box of thimbles that I got from various relatives, mostly as part of a Christmas or birthday present. When I run across them, I enjoy the associations and memories they bring up, but I don’t have any desire to add to the collection. As an adult, I can better understand the appeal of collecting. My budget doesn’t allow for art collection and my accumulation of teapots doesn’t really count, but there are a few book series that I buy.

The Massey Lectures, published by Anansi Press, is the series that I’m trying to complete. I’m missing some of the earlier lectures. I also really like the Canongate Myths series, though I’ve been a little lackadaisical about keeping up with the new releases. The rest of my book collection is quite scattershot – a little biography, a mixture of mostly Canadian, Commonwealth, and British fiction, as well as a lot of non-fiction on a bunch of different topics. It’s nice to have a little coherence added to the mix.

My other growing collection is a significant number of cookbooks. My partner and I have had to move our cookbooks from a small bookcase to a larger one, as they mysteriously go on multiplying. There’s even a series of books that bridges the gap between my cookbooks and my other book collections. Penguin’s Great Food series reprints food writing ranging from Samuel Pepys and Brillat-Savarin to Elizabeth David and Alice Waters. I think the entire series will be taking up some shelf space here before long. The books themselves are beautiful, with some of the best cover design I’ve seen in some time. The writings promise to enlighten, amuse and even offend. I think I officially have a new book (set) crush.

Since I’ve been accumulating quite a lot of posts here, one-hundred today in fact, I thought I would do a little something to celebrate and show my appreciation for those of you who’ve visited over the past year. I’ve loved your comments and even feel as though I’ve got to know some of you a little bit. I bought two of the books from the Great Food series and I’m going to give them away. As it’s also my one-year blogoversary (again, that is too a word!) on September 20th, I’ll announce the winners then. All you have to do is leave a comment, letting me know what you like to collect and which of the two books you’d prefer. (If the winners pick the same book, the person drawn first will get their choice.)

The books are these: Charles Lamb’s A Dissertation upon Roast Pig and Agnes Jekyll’s A Little Dinner Before the Play. I have to confess that I didn’t choose them because they’re my favourites of the series, but because – of the titles available at the bookstore I visited – these were the two with the prettiest covers. I do have my moments of superficiality.

A Dissertation upon Roast Pig

A Little Dinner Before the Play


22 thoughts on “A Little Celebration of a Small Accumulation

  1. Oh those books do have pretty covers!
    Congratulations on 100 posts;-)
    I think everyone should have at least one collection, the problem is that when your friends or family find out about your collection it can a little ridiculous, like poodle book ends or crocheted poodle bottle top covers, no I’m not kidding! Books are a wonderful useful and infinitely entertaining thing to collect;-) ps. My poodle collection lives in a box now!

  2. Congratulations on one year and one hundred posts on your excellent blog!

    This isn’t the sort of thing people usually mean when they talk about a collection, but to my thinking it fits: I collect family pictures and records. As I attempt to figure out my family’s genealogy and history, I look for and treasure every relevant photo and document that I can find.

    (I don’t want a book, so you can leave me out of the draw … I just wanted to participate and tell you I think your blog is fabulous.)

  3. Congratulations on your 100th post! Mine passed without any celebration recently. When I was young, I would accumulate (to use your word) the children’s series of Nancy Drew, The Famous Five, and series by Enid Blyton, my favourite author. Now I’m helping my son with his collection of ‘Geronimo Stilton’. My collection of cookbooks is also growing! 🙂 If I’m a winner, I will pick the Agnes Jekyll book too. I’m drawn to its colour!

  4. They do have lovely covers! A Little Dinner Before the Play sounds great and would be my first choice.
    There’s nothing better to collect than books. I love to be surrounded by the books that have been important to me!

  5. Happy anniversary to your blog!!! And before I read that you picked these two cookbooks b/c of their covers, I was going to mention how beautiful they were 🙂 I, too, seem to collect cookbooks, plus books and Lalique Christmas ornaments. I’d pick A Little Dinner Before the Play only because I like its cover just a wee bit better, but would be delighted with either~

  6. Congrats on making it to 100 (and 1 year). I enjoy the variety of subject matter in your posts & look forward to seeing what’s next.
    Books have always been my weakness (& accumulation…). I am sure I could wax rhapsodically for way too long on my love for the medium 🙂

  7. Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! I collect cookbooks, because they can do more than just sit there. I used to collect different things, but it mostly ended up being about collecting dust! I would enjoy either of these books, they’re both beautiful!

  8. Many congratulations on your 100th post, and happy 1st Blogoversary in advance! I collect books and also cookbooks, they are now in their thousands and I feel like a bit of a hoarder…LOL. I couldn’t resist joining in this giveaway as I have neither of these books yet, and should I win, would prefer the one by Agnes Jekyll, please.

  9. What a delightful post. Happy 100th post, Teresa! I have enjoyed reading and following your blog so much and feel like I am getting to know you through your blog and your tweets. I have a growing collection of cookbooks and completely understand your running out of space. This is happening to me as well and I am still waiting for promised bookshelves to be built by John. I have various collections of vintage dishes, baking pans, ribbons, handkerchiefs, aprons…the list could go on. I am an avid reader and do have some treasured books, but I often donate read books or share them with co-workers as we would have to buy a storage shed if I kept them all. I have not read either of the books for your giveaway and would treasure either one.

  10. Congratulations on your 100th post and blogaversary! I have a few things I like to collect: anything with giraffes, cookbooks, wine corks, fabric, snowmen & gingerbread men at Christmas and I have a small collection of gourds that are hand painted. I’d love either of the cookbooks. But, I live outside of the US and would totally understand if you didn’t want to send overseas.

  11. Congratulations on a job well done! I must admit that I am a crazy collector… you don’t even want me to get started on this subject! I do collect cookbooks and those two you have are lovely! I think everyone needs “A Little Dinner Before the Play” or they might get hungry 🙂

  12. I just reread Lamb’s “A Dissertation upon Roast Pig,” which I have in an anthology of Romantic literature. Haven’t read anything of Lamb’s since my college days –some twenty years ago. This essay is so eloquent, and clever and humorous. I love it: “It was observed that Ho-ti’s cottage was burnt down now more frequently than ever.” LOL! Congratulations on creating more than 100 posts. I think that’s quite a feat to accomplish in just one year. I can tell that you like to write, and you write very well. I don’t particularly collect anything, but I’ve accumulated a lot of books over the years. They’re on shelves, and in closets that have been converted into bookcases, and they are stacked skyscraper fashion on the floor, one on top of another. Which is my greatest pleasure? Is it reading or eating? I’ll get back to you on that.

  13. I’m a little slow to catch up on the congratulations, Teresa! I have so enjoyed reading your posts of the past year. I initially stopped by for the FFwD posts, but I enjoy your Tuesday posts about your city, community, and musings on life equally. I’d say I collect (or maybe it’s just accumulate) cookbooks and books about food. I have hundreds and love them all (even if I don’t use them all). I’m not familiar with the Great Food series, so I will check that out. As weird as it sounds, I also when I travel, I collect little figures of small creatures I enjoy in nature (particularly dragonflies, bees, and turtles) to scatter around the house. Great job on reaching the 100 post milestone! I’ll look forward to reading more. (If I win, I would enjoy either book, though I like the Jekyll cover better — and I know, you can’t judge a book…)

  14. Teresa, visiting your blog has reminded me that I never received the book. Just thought you might like to check the tracking if it was insured. Thanks so much!

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