As I mentioned in my last post, I spent this spring break at my favorite bookstore, Kaleidoscope Books. And, as usual, I took home a book I decided I could not live without, My College Diary. It was illustrated by Meta Morris Grimball and published in 1913.
I cannot get over how cool this book is! It was published only two years after my former dorm opened. For me, part of the appeal of this diary is that it is aimed at the type of women who were my dorm’s first inhabitants. There is some writing from a previous owner, but I can’t figure out which college she attended or much else about her besides some various lists and expenses.
Since I can’t review this book as I normally do, I thought it best to show a few of my favorite pages. Just look at these illustrated end papers. Owls! It is my opinion that not enough books out there have end papers this awesome, although I love running across the ones that do.
One of my favorite sections is “My Favorite Studies.” For me, that would be English and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies! I like her reading posture, as if the girl in the illustration is actually going to stay awake and finish that book. My bet is that she falls asleep on top of the book and awakes a few hours later with the imprint of the book on her face. That’s how these things work.
They even have room for an entry on midnight feasts! I just read on Wikipedia that the instant noodles I know as Ramen were not imported to the U.S. until the 1970s, and Louie’s Lunch wasn’t around until 1918, so I have no idea what the college women of 1913 were eating. Something tells me they also didn’t have mini-fridges full of delicious cheese and such.
And of course, no one can forget an entry for care packages, or as I like to call them, “Mom Mail.” Perhaps the several blank pages for this subject were to describe the stickers, glitter glue, etc. that decorates any incoming box or envelope. In my experience, there is sometimes a quiz on such things, so perhaps it is a good idea to take notes. It’s almost like the makers of this diary know me…