Messages will go here
Observer Books Logo

Observer's Books

Part of the Stella & Rose's Books family

33 - The Observer's Book of Lichens by K.A. Kershaw & K.L. Alvin

To describe the contents of this book in just a few words I can't do better than to quote from the front flap of the black and white version of the dustwrapper:

"The Study of lichens is a fascinating subject and in this book the authors have sought to provide an introductory volume for the layman, teacher and student, as well as a handy reference book to the subject. The book fully covers the structure and reproduction of lichens together with the methods of collecting and examining. Also included are explanations of technical terms to help the reader. These terms have been gathered into a glossary for easier reference and there is a key to the identification of the genera.

The Observer's Book of Glass - No. 62

The Observer's Book of Glass is No. 62 in the series. Written by Mary and Geoffrey Payton, it was first published in 1976, primarily for those with the collecting bug - but is also an easy reference book.

An introductory chapter is included with this book and chronicles the early development of glass. It briefly looks at the influences of differing time periods from ancient Egypt through to 'Roman Glass' and concludes by looking at more modern glass makers, such as Tiffany or Bristol Blue.

Above: the Warne edition (left) and the Bloomsbury edition (right)

For ease of reference, this book has an A-Z of glass, accompanied by 95 half-tone illustrations and eight pages of colour photographs - showing some exquisite examples of glass types and styles.

17 The Observer's Book of Common Insects & Spiders by E.F. Linssen & L. Hugh Newman

Being an excellent reference guide to the Insects and Spiders of Britain this book has stood the test of time and been published many times. For a summary of the contents of the book see image left of the wrapper flap from the 1971-75 version of the Wrapper.

There has been 7 Different dust wrappers for this book, whilst the book was published by Warne, who finished publishing the observer's in 1983. You can see some of the different designs below.

To give you a flavour of the content see the images below.

Prices for this observer's vary greatly according to condition and edition for example a reasonable copy of a 1st edition with a dust wrapper will go for something over 20 pounds, whilst the edition with the cyanamids wrapper will cost you between 50-80 pounds. Most other editions will be around or just under the 10 pound mark. (Prices correct 2007)

13 - The Observer's of "British" Architecture by John Penoyre and Michael Ryan

From the blurb on the front panel of the 1st edition dust wrapper, we get a flavour of what this book tries to cover: "This pocket guide, with its comprehensive Visual Index, contains 270 different illustrations, 125 of which are in colour. It describes the development of English architecture from Saxon times until the present day, and is designed to provide the observer with an adequate background of the development of building, planning and technique through the centuries."

From some of the images you can see how the book is well illustrated with simple colour and b/w illustrations with addition of annotation when it was consider necessary. The book takes us through a journey through history starting with the Buildings of the Medieval Period, including the Pre-Conquest or Saxon period, it ends with the Buildings of the Industrial Era with a chapter each on the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century.

The Observer's Book of Aircraft No. 11

This is one of the most successful of the Observer's Books and probably the title with the most editions for a collector. The book started life entitled 'The Observer Book of Airplanes' written by Joseph Lawrence and was issued with this title in 1942, 1943 & 1945. Interestingly this book was not issued as an Observers Series number until 1949. The 1949 edition saw a number of changes, the most notable being the change in the title from Airplanes to Aircraft. It was allocated the number 11 in the Observer's Series and the authors became William Green and Gerald Pollinger.

From 1955 until 1992 annual editions were published, each having their own cover design. As with the other Observer books, this title went through many forms. The editions between 1979 & 1982 were issued in pictorial boards, not with the usual dust jacket. Between 1983 & 1992 the book was published as a paperback in the New Observer's Series, with a new number N1. The final edition was the only one not to be published by Frederick Warne, being issued by Bloomsbury, returning to a hardback pictorial board format with yet another title change to "The Observer's Book of Airliners."

2 - The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers by W.J. Stokoe

The original edition of this book was issued with 220 illustrations in both colour and black and white - you can see typical pages illustrated below - which were reproduced in small size from Sowerby's English Botany. Also some of the text from the book was extracted from the popular standard work Wayside and Woodland Blossoms. A good summary of the purpose of this book is provided by the preface to the 1st edition "This little book is intended for the pocket to enable the observer in his wanderings through field and woodland, to study the wonderful variety of wild flowers around him. It is not intended to take the place of the more complete works on the subject, but it is hoped that it will awaken and intensify the interest sufficiently, to all those seers after the beauties of nature..." Each flower, of which there is typically one per page, has its own botanical descriptions and notes of flowering period, habitat and distribution. 1,475,000 copies sold between 1937-1981.

The Observer's Book of Vintage Cars and Pre-War Classics (92) by Mark White

View current stock of this title

Issued in 1982, it was printed with Laminate boards, with the image of 4.5 Litre Bentley, Vanden Plas to the front cover. There was only one issue of this particular observer, making it one of the harder to find books.

It contains A foreword by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, and has 11 colour and 45 black and white photographs, 184 printed pages. The format of the book is an A-Z guide. . This is the Partner book to The observer's book of Classic Cars, which deals with the post war classics. The last book to be listed on the rear cover is No. 82 Gardens