It's fun, doing things the "old way" as I read a long epic poem titled "The Excursion." I have to cut open each page like a present as I move through the book. I wish I'd come across Part I of this poem, "The Wanderer," in high school because it encapsulates how I felt as a teenager - and how I still feel at times - yearning to wander freely in the mountains. (A romanticized notion, I realize! Wordsworth's appreciation of nature has always captured me).
These books were printed in 1911 and are bound with fabric. I think the reason they survived for so long is because whoever owned them kept them in a personal library with some measure of climate control. I'm picturing the previous owners as socialites who preferred to show off their books rather than read them - but of course, my imagination could be way off! But there has to be some reason why the books have zero damage from humidity, and no wear and tear. And best of all, they have never been opened in a hundred years. A part of me wonders if I should keep them unopened to maintain the value of the books - but what is the point of keeping them if I don't read them? Books are meant to be opened!