Cool Stuff: The Book of Knowledge

I am the first to admit I am sometimes awash in nostalgia. eBay has helped me get much closer to things I used to have.

But when funds (and space) run out, those long-term memories remain.

It’s easier when they’re still in front of you, of course.

The Book of Knowledge

Since before I was born, I’ve had a set of encyclopedias that are more than encyclopedias: The Book of Knowledge.

I can say this because this particular set is from 1939 and they were in the house before I got there. Yet they are mine all the same.


The Book of Knowledge, 1939. This is Vol 9, by the way.

The Book of Knowledge is an encyclopedia set for children. In fact, it says so right on the flyleaf: “The Children’s Encyclopedia.” But you shouldn’t let that stop you.

Inside each volume are Departments, among them the Earth, Stories and Legends, Literature, The Fine Arts, Men and Women, and Poetry and Rhymes, an example of which appears below. And these are but a few of the goodies you’ll find.


“The Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti.

As you turn the pages, you are taken from Book to Book within the covers, fetching up with awe-inspiring vistas…


…to a section entitled “Things to Make and Things to Do”…


…to famous books and enchanting illustrations reproduced for your ease and pleasure.


The Knave of Hearts.


There’s even a “Book of Wonder” that answers children’s questions as best as the editors can. We’re still looking for answers to some of these.


Imagine growing up with all that as a kid.

I can close my eyes and picture their rendition of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I can remember when my mom needed to learn touch-typing, and I had just come across an illustrated guide on how to do exactly that.

I also remember exclaiming to my dad that in the index, they referred to World War I as simply The World War. Just early enough to still believe it was the war to end all wars.

The feeling I have with these books is one of unlocking a treasure trove, though no currency could replace their value.

And I was quite spoiled for “regular” encyclopedias. Where was all the fun stuff? The musings? The crafts? Mmph!

I can’t be the only one with something like this saved through the years.

What are you hanging onto that makes you happy?


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