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mazingerz88's avatar

What is the oldest book and other printed material do you have in your house?

Asked by mazingerz88 (26156points) 1 month ago

Books, magazines and newspapers mainly. How much value do this printed material hold for you? Kindly share reasons why you keep them. Thanks.

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20 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

The oldest book is The Guardian in two volumes published in 1762
I have a few that I purchased online through

Addyman Books
Hay-on- Wye books
I have another predates publishing in calfskin (Ruskin day by day Journal.( no date)

I used to collect Antique books

I also have Balders Paris and its Environs 1907

The Last Days Of Pompeii ( 1906)

Les Miserabes vol I and II (1911)
Several more but these are the oldest.

I keep them because the written word in book form will disappear in the future the more we rely on digital versions.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^Wow. Very nice. I wonder how a 1762 book smells like?

snowberry's avatar

I have several antique books. The pages are falling out of some of them. One is a copy of Les Mis, but I can’t find it to look at the date. I inherited most of them, but one I found at a used book sale. That one is precious to me because it’s a true account, and not the sort of book that would be printed today.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Check out Hay on Wye online variety of book stores.
Near Cardiff /Wales border
I had a talk with one seller who told me that they collect books from around the world so much that the whole Town was created on this book collecting venture.

They have so many that they cant get to look through them as much as they would like to,so many are collectors items and in the UK apparently every street corner has multiple Antique books that sell cheaply.
Would love to go there one day and browse ( there Book fair open in Feb every year, but Covid probably stopped that so far.
Anyways most of their inventory is online.

Inspired_2write's avatar

It does not smell!
Place in a fridge to get rid of old books smells.
Book seller told me and it works well!
I especially like to collect diaries and missed out on one that was from the 1600’s a little old lady wrote her journals and told of what life was like in her lifetime.
I find these types ( diaries) very truthful telling of what life was like in their time.
Not from a nobles perspective but rather the common man’s story, which is more enlightening.
And thus I have been writing my journals of living in a small Town for these last 25 + years..diaries ( in draft form so far).

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yiddish story book, published somewhere in Poland (or the empire that was there before Poland) around 1780

mazingerz88's avatar


Oh. But I like smelling old pages. That’s what I do first when no one’s looking. lol

Yes I’ve seen the website of Hay on Wye. Will love to visit there when I can. I would need at least two full days to explore that whole place. Maybe more.

Btw I too on and off have kept notes ( not really full diary entries ) since the late 90s which picked up several years into the beginning of the 21st century but then I just stopped.

I do intend to continue but sadly in digital form this time.

zenvelo's avatar

I have a 1919 edition of Options by O. Henry. I have a 1934 edition of Canterbury Tales by Chaucer that was my dad’s high school textbook.

I have a couple of older small books, printed in the 1930s: The Man Without A Country and The Story of the Other Wise Man.

kritiper's avatar

Alfred Tennyson’s Poems complete 1867

Zaku's avatar

Hmm. Probably some of my printed maps. Glancing at some, the oldest I notice is from 1911.

“How much value do this printed material hold for you?”
– Er… “quite a bit”? I like maps, and old things, and this one was given to me by my mom.
“Kindly share reasons why you keep them.”

- This may not honor the “kindly” part of the request, but… this question makes me a wee bit upset that someone would think in a way that would ask this. My first thought is “Why the &#@% would people not keep old printed material? What, do people go around throwing out old printed material just because it’s “old”?”

- I keep it because it’s very interesting to me, I like it, and it is an artifact of the past, only so many of which exist, and even if I didn’t want it, I would feel it was terribly destructive to throw such things out simply because they’re old. It’s part of history. People who aren’t philistines appreciate such things, and non-philistines in future generations will appreciate them even more.

- As someone who occasionally creates fictional (usually game) content about the past, it’s also a great resource for (in the case of the map) what the lay of the land was like at that time, as well as what a person at the time could find out about what was there by buying such a map.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^These past years I’ve been accumulating news and human interest articles cut out from mostly the Washington Post. I know I would want to read each and every one of these articles again yet there are moments when I wonder how much longer I can keep them in light of I don’t own a house.

Zaku's avatar

I had a history & current events teacher who kept a collection of old newspapers, and encouraged students to give him newpapers from various distant places.

Not having enough space is of course a good reason not to keep things you don’t need, but sufficiently old/interesting things could be given to others who do have room/interest for them, if such can be found.

Sadly, even library space is a bit lacking these days.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Old books, newspapers diaries etc can be donated to your local Museum archives.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

1920’s cookbook.

Brian1946's avatar

My high school yearbook, which was the second one printed by Gutenberg! ;-o

Demosthenes's avatar

I’m ashamed I don’t know the answer to this question. I will have to ask my parents. I know that we have a collection of old photos and documents, some of which date to at least to the late 19th century. I’m not sure if there is anything older and I have no idea if we have any very old books.

ragingloli's avatar

A small 1992 paperback novella from school.

It is about a line keeper that is sexually enslaved by his second wife.
He has a son from his first wife, and baby with the second.
After his son is run over by a train, he snaps, beats his wife to death, and slits the baby’s throat.
A true classic.

filmfann's avatar

I think I have a family Bible somewhere. Must be 200 years old.

smudges's avatar

A 1962 edition of Newsweek in which there’s a short article about my father and the research he was doing. I don’t have children, so will pass it on to one of his grandsons (my nephew).

Nomore_lockout's avatar

A 1945 edition of an old news paper from Muskogee Oklahoma. “Japs Surrender!” Story about the end of the Pacific War. Found it among my moms effects after she passed. No one else in the family cares about it, so I kept it. Always been a history buff anyway. And no Merle Haggard jokes, please. Also have a 1924 printing of the Odyssey, my dad owned it in H.S. back in the early 40s, before he joined the military for the War. Ditto finding it in his effects when he passed, and no one else caring anything about it.

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