I rail about the amount of space my books take up in my house and warn others of that slowly, creeping scourge........but have I ever mentioned my love of antique flower/garden/herb books? That is an entirely different type of book addiction, tempered only by difficult searching and expense...thank goodness!!
Thus, my personal collection is small and has only been added to recently because of my aunt's book sale finds. Anything over 60 years is considered an antique---but being 56 myself....and certainly not ready to consider BEING an antique anytime soon, I am redefining "antique" --to over 70 years. I have several "almost" antique garden/nature books from the 1950s, many in the form of seasonal writings/diaries/journals. I have a few household medical books that are well over 100 years old and then many written in the 1930s-1940s. I always find information I never heard before, lots of things I have read and re-read elsewhere over the years and am most appreciative of the various perspectives or relationships these authors had with their plants. It sometimes helps put my own perspective....into perspective.
Often, the contents of the book are less important than the amount of beauty and craftsmanship that used to go into bookbinding and presentation. Sometimes the illustrations are spectacular--sometimes lacking in "true" colors, sometimes the writing is quaint, but not too informative--or accurate. But, they all speak of our past and of others who loved the plant and natural world. So, if you come across these old treasures in a shop or library book sale, snap them up, add to your own collection, gift them to those who would appreciate them or to a garden club---- anything to keep them from falling by the wayside or being destroyed. This is an important thread of our heritage to lovingly maintain.