Thursday, March 5, 2009

Old Books

I collect old books - the older the better, as long as they're in fairly decent condition, not water-damaged and moldy or falling apart. Besides the fact that I just love books in general, I like to think about an old book's history - who's owned it, who's held it in their hands and read it, what shelves it's sat on and where. If only they could talk and tell me their own story, aside from the story held within their pages. The first thing I usually check is the publication date; the older the date, the more exciting the find.

Last week I found this book at an antique store. It was apparently a health textbook in "The Health and Happiness Series". I'm guessing it was written for late elementary grades.

It was published by the American Book Company, copywright 1934. It was a revised version of the original, published in 1928. The preface says that a revision was "desirable" because of the many advancements and new information that had risen during those 6 years. "The American Physical Education Association has made some valuable contributions to the study of physical education and hygiene." And also, "Likewise, the American Medical Society has of late years given special attention to problems of personal and community hygiene." There's more details that follow in the preface; but it makes me chuckle to see what they called major advancements in the field of health 80 years ago, and that's exactly one of the things I love about old books.

The wording they use is often amusing to me, due to being written for children and simply using the common language of the time. At the end of most chapters, after some review questions, there is a small drawing with a clever statement pertaining to a part of that chapter.

When discussing how to avoid getting sick, they recommend -

" . . . keep your body in good physical condition by eating plenty of nourishing food, by having sufficient sleep, and by taking regular exercise in the open air."

Good advice for all of us that is simple, and still true today.

And this cracks me up: in the chapter about food and digestion -

"Few people realize how much their health depends on the way in which the wastes of the body are removed. The regular removal of waste is a duty which cannot be neglected without serious results."

More good advice for us to heed - don't neglect your waste removal duties! (is this an OPTION??)

Responsibly follow public health laws. This book was written before the use of antibiotics, when quarantines were still carried out. When I see obviously sick people out and about, coughing and hacking or other unpleasant symptoms, I wish people would have the wisdom to "quarantine" themselves at home and stop spreading their germs. Especially if it's a child being allowed to play in a public play area with a gross running nose; don't get me started!

One other comical heading I noticed (in the chapter The Nose, Mouth, and Throat) -

"The Mouth is for Food; Do Not Misuse It"

Speaking of health, I've definitely been feeling some improvement the past few days. My thyroid has calmed down, even though it's still being somewhat sensitive. I'm surely not yet where I'd like to be, but I'm not where I was; for which I'm very thankful.

1 comment:

Chris's Mom said...

This really clever! I have a couple of "old" books that you can have - if and when we find them in the basement! :) I especially liked this old book, with my medical background. Thanx!
Love, Mom XO