Wednesday, February 29, 2012

From the Archives #18: Book Care Advice from the Girl’s Own Annual

Cover: September 1941
Between 1880 and 1956, a British paper for girls was published called The Girl's Own Paper.  The paper contained all kinds of stories, many by well know authors like Angela Brazil and Noel Streatfeild. At first published on a weekly basis and later becoming monthly, The Girl's Own Paper also contained articles on such topics as sports, clothing, hobbies, travel.  An annual was also published every year, conveniently in time for the Christmas season, that contained only the stories and articles, all advertising was eliminated.  
But after World War II started, paper was in short supply and war economy standards were imposed on printed matter.  The Girl’s Own Paper became a much smaller monthly and the annual was no long published.  The last annual was Volume 62, printed covering October 1940 to September 1941  
I have a small collection of Girl’s Own Annuals, that only consists of the last 6 years they were published.  I was looking through Volume 62 the other day, when I got to the last page of this last volume and I found this bit of sage advice on the care of books, which I now share with you:

A much more complete history of The Girl’s Own Paper can be found here.  


  1. Sensible advice and a lovely front cover.

  2. Don't turn leaves with your thumb gave me pause--I had to go try it, and failed. Maybe paper of days gone by had some different quality to it that made thumb turning easier???

    I am failing badly on "dust daily."

  3. Barbara, it is good advice. I like the cover, too. The girl in it looks so sophisticated and almost spylike.

    Charlotte, well, I am afraid I don't always practice what I preach and daily dusting isn't on my list of everyday chores either. And I probably don't turn pages all that carefully, especially in a book that is very engrossing.

  4. Lend with discrimination - ha! (And write down who you loaned it to.) I forget which means I can't follow up.

    It's also easy to hang on to books I borrow if I don't get them read immediately but keep thinking I will.

    Fun article, Alex!

  5. Very nice post! I love the advice for taking care of books. Remembering Girls' Own, and how in cold houses we largely had open fireplaces to keep warm, it really was a constant temptation to hold the book too near the fire! Better get on and start dusting my books!

  6. Joyce, I have also made the mistake of lending and forgetting to whom I lent a book. I thought this would be a fun post, too.

    Dorothy, I loved this advice too, even if I don't follow it either. I always enjoy going through the old Girl's Own copies I have collected, it is very cool that you remember them.

  7. do any of them contain the story Senior Year and Cossack Girl? I've been looking for this annual for ages ,gave mine away.Just cant remember the year..1950 soething ...please help

    1. Sorry, none of my annuals have either story. They are all from the 1930s and 1940s. How frustrating it must be to be looking for something you once owned.