Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Antique Card Catalog

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with books. Not just books, but libraries filled with books. As a child, I enjoyed going to our small town's library and getting lost in the stacks of books, reading the back covers, having a difficult time deciding which I would check out because I wanted to check out all of them. In elementary school, our class would go to the library one day a week. I would check out the maximum books allowed and carry them home with me. My favorites I checked out over and over again. Many years later, the woman who had been my elementary school librarian decided that Harold and the Purple Crayon should be retired. Since she remembered that this was one that I checked out over and over again, she signed the inside of the well worn cover and brought it to me. Of course, I was thrilled. Now that little tattered book is among my collection of first editions and author-signed books, as it is as important to me as any of those...perhaps even more.

Another thing I loved about libraries was the old card catalogs. I loved reading them! So, imagine my delight when poking through an old junk store, I spied in the back corner under piles of "stuff" a dusty antique card catalog that called out to me louder than if it could speak. I got so excited over this scratched old cabinet with it's twelve drawers that I could barely ask the price of the old man who ran the store. Fifty dollars. He actually said fifty dollars. I couldn't believe it. Of course I yelled, "Sold." and went up to immediately pay him, and I couldn't get it loaded in my car fast enough. It barely fit across the back seat, but it if it was meant to be. When I got home and asked my husband to help me unload the car of a true treasure, he looked at me as if I had lost my mind when he saw it. "Where in the world are you going to put it," I remember him asking. "I don't know, but I have to find a place!"

The photo above is not my cabinet, although this one has twelve drawers. Mine is two drawers high and six drawers wide! I love it!

I believe I know the perfect place. In my new studio. It will look wonderful in there and serve as a great cabinet to hold paint brushes, tubes of paint, pencils, etc. I cannot wait to take the orange oil to it and see how that old wood shines. I bet the patina is amazing. For now, it sits among the other furniture all piled in our guest bedroom awaiting the finish of the remodel. I can't even get in there to take a photo of it right now, but soon....

This will be a project that will touch my heart and lift my soul. I can't wait to see it in its new home.


Sandy @ My Shabby Streamside Studio said...

Great idea, and congrats on having your favorite book, too!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Paula...girl I'm doing the Happy Dance for you...WOW!! to get this for 50 bucks is unreal...Love it did GREAT...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Kim said...

We really must be soul sisters! I love libraries; I love card catalogs and I love old books. I got so excited about this post as I was reading! Just remember, if you love something you will have a place for it. I never worry about where I will put things although my house is full now! I'll have to read your favorite child's wonderful she gave that to you.

Karen said...

I'm so envious of you, having your very own card catalog. And such a beautiful one at that! I used to love going through the card catalog in our old library. I think it was one of the reasons I wanted to be a librarian, so I could have one of my very own.

Pajama Mama said...

I love it!!! I would have snatched it up, too! Our library had a sale last year and the antique books they were getting rid of for next to nothing made me SWOON! Wonder what they did with their card catalogs!!!!!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh, I just love old books too. Just yesterday I was in the Worchester Art Museum library. I was noticing that they still have the old card catalogs.

What a find, this is perfect and worth a pot of gold. I love your photographs of the book shelves. I spend many hours in old and rare book shops. I just love them. I bet you loved the book and movie 84 Charing Cross Road.


Shelinwa said...

Hey Love you post
OMG I love old books too. and love your card catalog very cool.
I love to smell old books, is that weird? I love to smell the oldness of them.. LOL as I write this is sounds weird. hehe
anyhow love your post and your writing.