Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Lucy Mangan's Guardian Article

In this weekend's Guardian, Lucy Mangan writes a short piece that reveals the soul of a Ladybird Book lover.

If you missed the article, you'll find it here:

I know, I know - it sounds like a case of typical Ladybird stereotyping, but the description of the books she remembers fondly, as opposed to those remembered by 'Tory Boy' fit the usual pattern. In my experience, the men who visit my website are looking for the History, Achievement, Science or Nature books. The women are looking for the fiction they fondly remember, preferably involving pretty princesses and nice ball gowns. I know, I know! But that's how it seems to BE.

Perhaps the time has come to put 'stereotype' to the test. I know from my stats counter that a lot of people read this blog; but the Ladybird Book lover is a timid creature who prefers to lurk in the background rather than leave comments. But this is your chance to vote on this frankly crucial issue. Rest assured that your response is anonymous.

If you are male, vote here:

If you are female, vote here:

Unless you are male or female, I'm afraid I have no poll for you; this is Ladybird land, afterall.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The value of old Ladybird Books

I don't know if more people are interested in old Ladybird Books, but more people seem to be interested in them as money making collectables.

Although I've been getting fewer enquiries about buying books recently, I have had many more enquiries from people wanting to sell them. Perhaps this is a sign of (relatively) hard times, or perhaps programmes like the recent edition of 'Flog It!' and the interview with Kathie Layfield have led people to believe that even fairly modern books such as the Read it Yourself series 777 are valuable to collectors.

Of course, from the 1960s onwards, Ladybird was very well established as a publisher of children's books - and these books were to be found in every school, Sunday School and many homes around the country. They were published in vast numbers, so with very few exceptions, (such as the elusive 'Indira Ghandi', 'Discovering Alton Towers' or some of the original 606d series) books published after the 1960s are not hard to track down and the words 'First Edition' printed in a laminated 1980s book are meaningless in terms of value.

But it's very nice to see that the genuinely scarce titles from the 1940s and 1950s can still command a high price on eBay. Of course, it would be less 'nice to see' this price if I hadn't completed my own collection years ago. But for you determined collectors without lots of money to throw at the really rare books you lack - it's not getting easier, so I salute you.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Ignore me

I'm just playing around with a new 'slideshow-maker' I've found:

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Ladybird Life - in video

I've just come across the wonderful archive clip. I think it was made by Harvard University to 'represent' English life in 1949.

But isn't it quintessentially Ladybird? How many different classic Ladybird books can you see echoed in this clip? Going to School, Uncle Mac, Tootles the Taxi, Helping at Home and even the 1960s version of Peter and Jane ...