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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Old book quote of the day

I have a passion for old books. Someday I will write about this, but for now suffice it to say that I think that old books have two distinctly different sorts of "values." Old books* contain information. Granted, in the time it takes to find the book, look though its index, & so on, we could have just googled what we were looking for in the first place. But from a prepper's point of view, old books contain information at hand when the lights go out. (What is the difference between a square and a granny knot? Which slips?)

The second sort of value is the values old books subtly-- and sometimes not so subtly-- convey to the reader. On what I hope will be a fairly regular basis, I'd like to share with you some short passages from my collection of old books. I think the values implicit (or explicit) in these passages are a fundamental aspect of American culture. I think they are values that we shouldn't passively let go by the PC double-speak wayside of "popular" culture. You may or may not agree-- and that's what the comments sections is for! I'm hoping we can have some interesting discussions about these values, then & now.

And so we begin... 

With the increased mechanization of farms, it has become necessary for the successful modern farmer to be proficient in the use, repair, and maintenance of mechanical equipment of various kinds. ... Although the farmer needs to be an unspecialized mechanic, rather than specialized mechanic, he should nevertheless be a good one. He should be thorough and systematic. Slovenly or slipshod methods have no more place on the farm than in other business or occupations. Machinery that works well, gates that open and shut easily, and buildings and fences that are orderly and in good repair not only save time and money for the farmer, but contribute to morale and the pride of ownership. 

Mack M. Jones  (Shopwork on the Farm, 1945)

What words or passages would you highlight here?

* "Old books" is a non-specific description with respect to age. I have a gardening book from the late 70s-- it's old. I have grammar books from the late 1800s-- they're old. "Old" to me pretty much means I picked it up for a buck or two b/c it was "out of date." Heh. 


Anonymous said...

I think the best part of the passage is the part about pride of ownership. That is something that is severely lacking in all areas of our society. I take care of my stuff and appreciate what I have. Not many do that anymore.

Kentucky Preppers Network

Anonymous said...

Old books are the Best! Especially for a prepper. Learning the old way of living is a good prep skill that may be needed in the not so distant future. Just read the book "It Happened in the Smokies" by Gladys Russell. Her family roots are in the Smokies before it became a National Park, as this is where she was also raised. The book had lots of old remedies, meet curing, even how they birthed babies without doctors. The most important thing families had back in the day was pride for each other and their belongings.

Good Post!

Marica said...

Looks like PRIDE wins hands down on this one!

Thanks for the comments & tip on the book. My one regret was not buying that midwifery volume at a library sale. At the time, $10 seemed like a lot of money. I could kick myself, now.

Ohio Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Ohio Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.