Once, for a fund-raiser (my school never quite had enough funds, so we were always trying to raise more), a selection of old books from my school's library were put on sale. I am, oddly, very fond of old books. I like the worn-out cover, the age-stained and half-eaten pages, the musty smell - even though the dust irritates my nose and the occasional silverfish always makes me jump. I picked up a few such from that sale...
Five Birds In A Nest is one of them -
I read it so long ago I hardly remember what exactly it is about... something of the simple, daily adventures of five siblings. It wasn't a particularly memorable read.
While reorganizing my bookcases earlier, I held it in my hand and marveled at just how really very old it looked and felt. The oldest books I own are mostly those "inherited" from my father, dating back to the 1950s. I wondered if this was older than everything else and I wondered when it was published. The date and location of printing, along with the name of the publishing house are usually on the first page after the cover.
A shock ("surprise" will be understating it) awaited me -
In the absence of subsequent "this edition" or "reprinted" year, I believe I am allowed to assume that 1914 is the year this book was printed.
My book is 99 years old. I own a 99-year-old book!!!