Sunday, February 19, 2012

Collecting Part 3

Fellow Australians Adam and Sarah are avid collectors and have a thriving vintage esty store called Hobart Collectibles and I think that choosing which collection to talk about was a challenge for them. I am very pleased they chose something that has a particular resonance with my own childhood. They collect Little Golden Books which were first published in October 1942 and over a billion and a half have been sold worldwide since then.. 

Can you tell me a little about your background? (where do you live, how old you are, background education/interests, work, family etc)

We're Sarah and Adam (speaking) and we live in a three bedroom house in Hobart, Tasmania, with our two and a half year old daughter Israel and her friend Circus, a small black kitten. Between the four of us, we run Hobart Collectables - an antique and vintage collectibles store on Etsy, with some of us putting more input into it than others (Israel and Circus for example don't help at all!).

We essentially both have degrees in Fine Art; Sarah in Drawing and Graphic Design and myself in painting, although in the years up to meeting Sarah in an op-shop I was working in an animal conservation centre in Cambodia, whilst Sarah was busy at Hobart City Mission, both manning their second hand bookshop and doing their graphics.

After buying a whole stack of second hand books and making small talk with Sarah at the front desk, I finally managed to get myself a date with her and thus Israel came into being.

What do you collect?

My first collection, obviously then, would be second hand books (mainly Solzhenitsyn, so I appeared more intelligent), but once we settled down and I could reveal my true tackiness, I dusted off my collection of Biggles books and Sarah began collecting Holly Hobbie.

What we'd like to focus on here though is a totally seperate collection that we started for Israel, which is Little Golden Books (LGBs).

How did you get started?

When both Sarah and I were young, we had the few basic staples such as The Poky Little Puppy, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Sailor Dog, The Little Red Hen etc., but for our daughter we wanted to go beyond The Classics and introduce her to the entire world of Golden Books.

So shortly after we first realised Sarah was pregnant, we took a trip to various op-shops and started to seriously buy LGBs, thus spawning a bookcase filled with over 500 volumes and a fair number of read-along LGBs + Records to boot.

Initially we went to the op-shops armed with a basic knowledge of what we already had, but as time went on and the collection grew, we had to organise nights to sit down and photograph each book and load the pictures into my mp3 player so we could check if we already had it (possibly subconsciously spawning the plain background that Hobart Collectables is so easily identified by!). 

What attracted you to collecting them, in other words, why?

The beautiful thing about collecting LGBs is that there is no 'Holy Grail' as collectors so often face. Each title is unique in its own right and worthy of inclusion, although we obviously get a kick out of coming across an item specifically mentioned in any of the LGB forums or in vintage price guides. Plus, I really love the LGBs copy cats such as Numbat Picture Books, an Australian version with the Golden Spine, but without the black graphics.

What is the holy grail of your collection? That is, what is it you are keen to get your hands on that you don't have?

Our favourite thing about collecting LGBs is that we get to gift our daughter an entire world of stories and imagination, with the odd moral thrown in just for good measure. Hopefully as she grows up LGBs will play a huge part in her life and then perhaps we'll get the find our 'Holy Grail' - that one LGB we missed when she was younger.

What are the best aspects about being a collector? What are the worst?

For now though the happiness of seeing her face light up whilst we read her a new story is all the reward we need!

Do you collect something? Why not share it with us? I would love to hear from you.


  1. Oh what a marvelous collection of LGB's for your customers (and little Israel...such a GORGEOUS name!).

    My very earliest storytime memories revolve around LGB's...Pokey little Puppy was definitely one of them!

    I have a little collection of rabbits (not live ones). They make me inexplicably happy :)

    1. Hmmm Melissa, rabbits eh? would you like to do an interview for my blog on your rabbit collection please? Convo me through my etsy shop! cheers,

  2. I love this post! Stopping by from Vestiesteam blog thread- please come by and say hi at


  3. i grew up on Little Golden books!
    i remember them being sold on a tall stand at our local variety store back in the late 70's...they were cheap then too so my parents would buy my sister and I one every now and then...I also have lots of vintage childrens books! love the illustrations and delightful stories!

  4. Love this LGB post! Adore Adam, Sarah and Isreal and their etsy shop HobartCollectibles. Thank-you for a great post on awesome collectors!

  5. Hello Evaelena, Teresa here from VintageInclination
    I'm so glad I saw this in my emails today! Hadn't come across it til now. Adam and family certainly have a fantastic lot of golden books, lucky little girl! (Hi Adam!)
    My boys loved golden books too. It's so satisfying reading the old favourites and sharing them with children. David, my partner, has a few really old ones and also Biggles books.
    (and thanks again for the lovely silverplate tea strainer..)