Thursday, February 3, 2011

A madness most discreet.

Less than two weeks until Valentine's Day! If your beloved is the sort of person who doesn't care for flowers and chocolates one way or another, or likes something supplementary, you should visit Babbitt's Books before the 14th and pick out a gift or two. Here are just a few suggestions:

1. We have several classic poetry books from the late 1800s in stock right now. The cloth bindings come in all colors and are handsomely gilt-stamped, which makes the books an attractive accompaniment to, say, one dozen red roses or a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Authors range from Thomas Moore to Tennyson to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Perhaps the best thing about these books, next to the fact that they're old and pretty and filled with romantic poems, is their inexpensiveness.  For example, we have an 1872 copy of Lord Byron's poems for only $16. You'll find the rest of the books on our counter shelves for $4 to $40. 

Not that we're inducing you to marry, but a few years ago a young man came in and bought one of the aforesaid poetry books so he could cut a hollow into the pages and put a ring inside for his girlfriend and (we hope) soon-to-be fiancĂ©e

2. Do you remember that we have totes and tees? The totes come in two designs and each design comes in green on white or white on black. The tees come in two designs as well and are printed on Jerzees heavyweight blend, which gives them a soft feel. (They're nothing like those awful, stiff-feeling, heavyweight Hanes tees.) Tees are men's unisex and range in size from S to XL. The totes are $9 and the tees are $15. 

3. We still have plenty of vintage Valentines, too,  for those of you who are considering an alternative to store-bought cards. 

 $1 (1950s-era)

$1 (1940s-era)

$2 (1920s-era)

$7 (mechanical, 1940s-era)

$8 (die-cut, 3D, circa 1890-1910)

$15 (die-cut, 3D, circa 1890-1910)

4. The following items aren't as Valentines-related, but I couldn't resist showcasing them. Brian has been slowly but surely putting out some of the prints we've accumulated over the years. Some are wood engravings, some are steel engravings, and still others are chromolithographs. Prints are a great way to get some new artwork into your home without spending an arm and a leg. The ones you're about to see are 7" by 10", but many that we have are larger.

 $10 ("Mammals of Earth, Air, and Water" lithograph, 1902)

 $12 (wood engraving by E.H. Dewey, circa 1880. It's a Costwold ram, but I like to think of it as Fat Sheep.)

$15 ("Academic Gowns--British Usage", 1902)

$18 (this is my ultimate favorite--"Octopods and Decapods", 1902)

As always, Kathleen and Brian and I (Sarah) will be more than happy to point you in the direction of these featured items when you come in. We also reserve books for 48 hours, so don't be shy about e-mailing us if you want to stake a claim to any of these Valentine's delicacies. Hope to see you soon!


  1. I think the Cotswold ram looks a little like Babette's sheepskin piranha!

  2. Could the Cotswold ram really be Sheepfish on a String? Tune in next time to find out . . .

  3. I really need to own that Academicals print. Really.