The first time I read this book was as a 10 year old in my final year of primary school. My best friend of those far away days was Sarah Chopping, (who amazingly tracked my down and read this blog post about my old primary school), and I were the school librarians. I think the headmaster thought we were very good girls, little did he know that sometimes we took our records into school (7" singles at that time) some lunch times, put them on the record player and "quietly" blasted out the tunes of T.Rex and the like! We were trusted to put all the new books into circulation in the school library. This meant putting in date plates (yes in those days you stamped when a book was due back), cataloging them etc. The real beauty of this "job" was that we had the place to ourselves when the library was shut to the rest of the school and we got to see and handle all the lovely new books which came in. I still love wandering around book shops, there is a certain smell to brand new books...mmmm!
In December 1971 (gosh I do feel old now) a gorgeous Arthur Rackham illustrated copy of this Dickens's book arrived at school to be catalogued and put into our library circulation - I was totally mesmerised by it. The combination of Dicken's story and Rackham's illustrations work so well. The book was a hardback edition and I decided that I would be the very first person to have it out on loan. I remember the first time I read it, how the story kept me entranced until the very last pages. I wonder what happened to that lovely book.....? I went to an exhibition of Rackham's art at the Dulwich Picture Gallery some years ago and saw some of his stunning, almost Gothic fairy paintings in the flesh..wonderful.
These are the postcards I bought from the exhibition.
(You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them)
Once I got married I decided that I would try to re read A Christmas Carol every year at Christmas. My husband even bought me a copy with the same beautiful Arthur Rachmann illustrations. It is a short story and is quick to read.
This is my current copy
It is something I really treasure.
Some of my favourite quotes from the book are;
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."
"It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour."
I also enjoy reading a wonderful compendium of Christmas stories/thoughts, again which my husband bought me when our children were very young. I love dipping in and out of it, it is something I can look at for a few minutes before I go to sleep or while I have a morning cup of tea before I get going or dash off to work for the day. I don't ever need to read it from start to finish, each piece stands alone.
It is simply called "Christmas" and is
contained within a lovely box sleeve.
The pages are thick and wonderful to
There are short stories, poems and all sorts of pieces about the season and even the pages are scented with Christmas fragrance.
I also do enjoy some of the Christmas magazines, the colour really does bring some cheer to the dull days of this time of years and obviously we do dream of snow...........??!
So which Christmas books do you enjoy reading or remember from the past or do you enjoy the magazines of the season? I would really enjoy reading your comments.
One final thought for this posting
"Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given--when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes."
- Joan Winmill Brown
Bye for now,