It’s true what they say about old habits dying hard. Just when I thought my obsession with old books was a thing of the past, fate (and one of my dearest old friends) led me to the Black Book Cafe in Stroud. I was in the Cotswolds visiting the lovely Dominyka, founder of Wondersome Things, book lover and all-around creative soul (check out her latest projects on Etsy and Society6).
I was looking for an old book which I could upcycle into a scrapbook-journal. I wanted to find a book with an interesting cover, but one which I wouldn’t become sentimentally attached to. Very important. Some books are immortal and don’t need to be reincarnated. Finally, I decided that ‘Enquire Within Upon Everything’ was a great choice. What a cool title for a journal! It didn’t look like anything of literary value so I paid my £2 and flopped down on a sofa with a cup of tea.
Then I started flipping through the pages of this 19th century enigma. It had to be done. I had to find out what it actually was before I started tearing out and painting over its pages. I admit that it took me a while to figure it out:
‘Whether you wish to model a flower in wax; to study the rules of etiquette; to serve a relish for breakfast or supper; to plan a dinner for a large party or a small one; to cure a headache; to make a will; to get married; to bury a relative; whatever you may wish to do, make, or to enjoy, provided your desire has relation to the necessities of domestic life, I hope you will not fail to “Enquire Within”.’ –Editor
I realised that I could not do anything to this book. It has to be read and shared.
NB- ‘Enquire Within’ was published in 1894 in its revised 90th edition by Houlston and Sons, Paternoster Square, London