"...and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice (1775-1817)
"And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:12-13
Writing equipment in the desk are from left to right: envelopes, writing paper, round box containing stamps, address book below that, blank cards, larger envelopes. On the table area on the left is outgoing mail in the little holder, and on the right in the holder is received mail that needs to be answered. This is not an antique secretary desk, but a reproduction, likely 1970's, that has been updated with white paint.
The books in this desk are mainly inspirational. I would like to mention one that would be very useful for a mother- daughter activity and study project. It is a workbook called "The Joy of Womanhood," by Susan Zakula, from The Keepers At Home Series. In it, the last part shows things a daughter can be assigned to, that will give the mother a great deal of help. Though the teachings in this work-text will not necessarily be applicable to everyone, there are parts of it that are very useful. It is a Bible study that provides activities for being "others" oriented, physical fitness, art, baking, budgeting, yarns and quilting, family relations, housekeeping, journal keeping, music, sewing, reading, writing, and more. The author went to a lot of trouble to put this book together with all the assignments and orderly study pages. It should be read word for word from the very first page. The special skills section is in the back half of the book, so that you can work on study and then practical things each week. This company also has books for boys.
In the middle shelf, two books worth mentioning: Better Than Medicine, by Leroy Brownlow, which teaches the proper Biblical concept of "self" which is so needed today. It helps young people understand the ups and downs of life and understand how to be happy. "My Heart Sings," by Joan Winmill Brown, is a book of stories and quotes ranging from the 1st century to the 20th century, from people like John Newton, Queen Victoria, Alexander Solzenitzen and many others inbetween. This slender volume provided a good way of learning a little bit about the faith of historical figures when it was not possible to find books on each one. From this book, a child might become more interested in a particular person and do research further.
Also included in my collection for girls are: How to Dress an Old Fashioned Doll (sewing) with drawings. The Folkwear catalog is somewhat historical, and helps you observe the different folk wear of nationalities world wide, and the patterns can be ordered from this book. It is advanced sewing, but the catalog is only about $3.00 and is fun to have around as enrichment for sewing. The Big Book of Papercrafts seems to be a reprint of an older book, and can give some ideas for making things out of paper. I found one or two projects I wanted to try in this book.
Other books: Daughters of Eve, by Lottie Beth Hobbs--explained some interesting things about the women of the Bible (published in the 60's), Days to Remember--a date book with really great art and classical poetry; Creating a SenseSational Home by Terry Willits (good drawings and great color), and The Spirit of Loveliness by Emilie Barnes.
Sew No More Home Decor shows how to use iron-on methods and glue to make curtains, placemats, table cloths, bedspreads, pillows, and much more and it has several different styles to choose from. There are also some wood painting ideas and other types of decorating besides fabric. The photographs show coordinating accessories in rooms, which can inspire anyone to want to clean up and decorate a room.