The best cookbooks get used a lot and they show it with scuffed pages, stains, bookmarks, and endless notations.
This grandma received her cookbook as a present in 1934 and noted the page numbers of the good recipes. I like the opening sentence. “This book on cookery is not designed to be of the NOVELTY Recipe Type.” I wonder what novelty recipes are. Image: litlnemo
Duct tape on the binding is a sure sign that a cookbook is well used. The Harrowsmith Cookbook. Image: clocker
Another sign of use is the stained cover splattered with cooking ingredients from the recipes within. Image: giveawayboy
Sometimes we bookmark recipes because of the alluring titles or the mouth watering pictures and hope one day to cook them. Image: Another Pint Please
But a grandmother’s cookbook isn’t just recipes, its a reminder of events and time spent together eating family favorites. Image: gomattolson
The Literary Lion is a wonderful, filled to the brim, bookshop that delights me every time I walk through the doors. It reminds me a bit of Shakespeare & Co in Paris with the narrow rooms, winding hallways, and abundance of books. The significant difference is that it’s in Stephenville, TX, a small university town in the rolling, wooded hills of dairy country.
The store’s emblem reminds me of the reading winged lion that you see everywhere in Venice. Sarah, the owner, says that the name came with the bookstore when she bought it many years ago. Her fiance, Shawn, manages the used paperback bookstore across the street, The Literary Lion Too.
The bookstore stands a block away from the pretty courthouse in the town square. Above the store name you can see that the building was built in 1905, back when the streets of Stephenville were simply dirt and filled with horse drawn buggies.
The Literary Lion occupies both stories of the narrow building and the lower floor is a maze of enticing nooks. The upper floor is entirely devoted to a huge private collection of Texas related materials in the Lone Star Library. It’s a favorite haunt for history and genealogy researchers.
Perhaps the best description of the bookshop is that provided by Sarah, comfortably cluttered.
The day of my visit, Sarah had received a large shipment of books and was in the midst of organizing and shelving. I’ve said it before, sometimes the best books are in the stacks on the floor.
There are a variety of seating options throughout bookshop, but this one is the most unique.
According to Sarah, the hardest shelf to keep stocked is the classic Greek and Latin shelf. She reads and teaches Latin and several nearby residents have learned Greek.
There aren’t many indie bookstores left in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and certainly few with the personality of The Literary Lion. It’s a rare jewel in a small town.
Although it’s completely unrealistic, I would love to own a castle library and, of course, the accompanying castle. There is just something so romantic and appealing to these structures whether they’re called a castle, chateau, palace, or another name. These libraries are as stunning as the castles themselves.
I had the extreme pleasure of spending time with Sarah and Shawn at The Literary Lion in Stephenville, TX yesterday. For a weekend treat, I’m sharing their bookstore sign. I’ll write more about their wonderful shop next week.
Did you see the turquoise glasses on the lion? The Literary Lion sign fits perfectly with other bookshop signs I rounded up awhile ago.
11.11.11 is Veterans Day or Remembrance Day in many countries around the world. It marks the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It has evolved to be a day in the U.S. and other countries to honor all veterans.
Today’s collection features a few military bookish pictures I found this week.
This book plate from World War I is pretty self explanatory. Image: newmexico51
So on this 11.11.11 Veteran’s Day I want to say a quick Thank You to all who have served or are serving our country. My husband and stepdad both served in long ago wars and it’s nice that their sacrifice, and that of others, is not forgotten.
Book necklaces fit right in with the current trend of long necklaces full of charms like this one.
Anthropologie calls theirs “The Collector’s Necklace” and they suggest you load it up with tiny letters, numbers, and sundry objects. But it’s missing books. So here are a few talented Etsy sellers who make small books by hand that are perfect to wear alone or on your own collector’s necklace.
Copyright A Pretty Book 2011-2012. Non-commercial use of A Pretty Book images is OK with credit and links back to this blog. Images taken by other photographers on this site may require additional permissions.