Ever go into a thrift store or an antique store? I do. Often. The things that you find that bring back memories is fun. Items where you can actually learn something is also a bonus. I enjoy purchasing books. I dig old books. More specifically, books on history, sociology, psychology and “How-To”.
Old books have a wealth of information in them and are written in a concise way. I just bought The Development of America by Fremont P. Wirth. It’s a thick history book with a copyright of 1936. It begins with a brief history of mankind’s development, exploration seeking a passage to China (Cathay) and brings America into the picture. Thereafter the book is all about America and its development.
What I like about reading older texts is the fact that the authors lived at a time that was much closer to the time period written about therefore more relevant information, factual data and perspectives that reflected that period are presented. Obviously the book only goes up to the 1930′s. And that’s okay. The author existed back then and I can get a good grasp of what life was like in America back in the 30′s and before as opposed to a modern day revision. Sure there were revisionists during most time periods. I won’t argue that.
Another nice thing about older books, especially this one in particular, are the old pictures and descriptions of events or daily activities. There’s a picture of a student desk and the items that go along with it. One of the items is a thick board that has four large holes in it. Guess what that’s for? It was to lock the students ankles in so they could be disciplined if caught goofing off. Whoa! That’s some intense schooling. I wouldn’t want my kids to go through that. I think we’ve come a long way in education. Unfortunately, today, angry students run many of the classrooms.
I just started reading The Development of America and look forward to getting deeper into it. I have other old texts as well. Some I have read. Others I peruse for perspectives or other pieces of data. I recommend that you collect old books too. It is refreshing to actually read something that is from the past. And as we know, the past can teach us a lot.