When you hear or read the words “library book sale,” what is your reaction? If it’s one of awe and excitement mixed with jumping, grabbing all of the totes you own before grabbing your keys and getting in your car without having to ask where? – welcome. If it’s a more calm reaction – that’s acceptable. If it’s indifference – get in my car; your life is about to take a turn for the best.

When the library book sale is at your library, the library in your hometown or the one closest to you heart, do you almost cry at the thought of picking up a book you read as a ten year old now when you’re twenty-four whatever age you are? Do you actually cry? Do you defy the odds of speed and time to get there early or right when the sale starts? Do you get out of a speeding ticket because the police officer becomes flustered when you won’t stop blubbering about the library book sale and can’t get a word in and just walks back to his or her cruiser and drives away? Or does the police officer offer to escort you to the library book sale, understanding completely? You are in good company, my friend.

When my hometown library held a book sale this past October, I joined forces with my mom and hit the books. Bundles of romance novels, bestsellers, classics, outdated computer manuals (I’m oddly obsessed with these), dictionaries, movies, and a plethora of young adult and children’s books filled the second floor space, on long tables, makeshift bookshelves, and in boxes. I believe I touched every single binding, and had a wonderfully nostalgic time looking through the titles I read as a child and teenager; the Arthur books, the Gossip Girl series, Judy Blume, The City of Ember, and oh-so-many more. I would have taken every single one of the books home with me, but a little self-control kicked in and I ended up with one and half tote bags full (my mom claimed the other half) of novels I’ve read, admired, and have wanted to read. One of these well-loved books sits with me now: Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales.

I chose this book because while familiar with the Grimm brothers’ stories, I’ve never read anywhere near a complete collection of them. While this is an unmarked copy, my research has led me to believe that it’s a 1954 edition* that has lost its jacket – surely along the way in its life on a library shelf and in patrons’ hands (the earliest due date on the library slip attached to the back page reads June 15th, 1992). All 211 of Jacob and Wilhelm’s fairy tales are inside, and I intend to read every one.

More specifically, I will be reading one every week, each with a subsequent blog post. Many I am familiar with, but with many more I am not. I am hoping to learn more about the Grimm brothers along the way, as well as controversies, histories, and other drama surrounding their tales. That is what will really take up the most time, as these fairy tales are not at all long, and create the most pleasant distraction from life outside their pages.

If you would like to revisit or explore these Fairy Tales along with me, you can find most if not all among the scourge of the internet, or go pick up a collection for yourself (do this one). I will link up to my posts as they are written below:
The Frog Prince
The Gallant Tailor
The Giant and the Tailor
The Little Farmer
The Golden Key
Sharing Joy and Sorrow
The Nail
Tom Thumb
Tom Thumb’s Travels
The Young Giant

Happy reading, happy dreaming, happy library book sale-ing, and never stop believing in 398.2.

*Published by Nelson Doubleday, Inc. in Garden City, New York.
Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales on Goodreads
Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales


11 thoughts on “Reading Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales”

  1. I love this!
    My husband has a whole set of old library books. We read them all before passing them onto charity so other people could enjoy them too..but Grimms looks like it could easily fit onto a bookshelf, so you won’t need to give it away!

  2. I would also have touched every single spine. Perhaps held a few in my hands and smelled them before going on. I loved reading the original Grimm Brother tales. Boy, was I surprised. Recently, though, my husband and I went through a downsizing purge and most of my physical books have found new homes. I buy Kindle and Audible versions now….unless I find an absolute, must hold in my hand and keep forever title.

    1. I’m finding many of them to be surprising, too! I’m going to attempt to read all of the books I own throughout 2018 for the sake of downsizing, which I’ve never done. I’ve been reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and have been feeling incredibly inspired and motivated by it, so that’s really fueling my desire to downsize. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

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