THE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE
I wonder how many of my readers remember the “Book of Knowledge”?
Though as a child I wasn’t a reader, “The Book of Knowledge” provided me with a great deal of enjoyment.
Every Saturday night until my grandmother died we would walk to her house for a visit. “The Book of Knowledge” sat in the bookcase inviting me to open them.
My grandparents lived only a block away from us, so it was not much of a walk there. Now the blocks in Brantford are much shorter than they are in London where I live now. There a block consists of about six houses. My grandfather built the house many years before I was born. In fact, my mother grew up in that house. There were two sets of books: “The Book of Knowledge” and the complete works of Charles Dickens.
Grandad died when I was only seven, and Grandma died when I was around twelve. The contents of the house were divided up between my mother, her sister and two brothers. Some of the things were designated to specific people. The two sets of books were in that category. “The Book of Knowledge” set was willed to my aunt and uncle and the Dickens went to my mother. I didn’t care anything for the Dickens books then, but I have had them in my possession for years now and I love them. I have read all 18 volumes, some multiple times.
Several years ago, at an annual book sale in Brantford (to raise money for the symphony orchestra), I found a set of “The Book of Knowledge”. There are twenty volumes and this one was in excellent condition. It was published in 1927. Not the edition my grandparents had, but as far as I was concerned that didn’t matter. And the price was definitely right – $4.00 for the entire set!
Formerly published in London England under the title “Children’s Encyclopedia”, “The Book of Knowledge” had it’s first printing in the US under this name in 1910 by Grolier. It was only eight volumes at that time.
One of the things that fascinated me in those books at my grandparents’ house was an exercise in imagination. There would be a diagram of a certain number of straight lines and dots and you had to create a picture out of them. Being the artistic child that I was, I assume that is why it appealed to me.
But there was much more. Poetry. Stories. Famous people. Artists. Paintings. Places around the globe. Simple games. How to make many things easy enough for children. How things work, such as motors. How things are made. And wonderful drawings and photographs. Volume 20 was an index of all the other 19 volumes. But rather than tell you more, I have photographed many of the pages of this wonderful set of books.
I hope you have enjoyed these photos. There are many more that I could have chosen, but I don’t want to make this post any longer. I’m sure you will by now have a good idea of what wonderful things “The Book of Knowledge” provided for children.
I am so happy that I came across this set of books that day.
I do hope you will leave a comment in the comment section before you leave. Thank you so much for stopping by. Let me know if you remember “The Book of Knowledge”.