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Reading Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales

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 Bundles of romance novels, bestsellers, classics, outdated computer manuals (I’m oddly obsessed with these), dictionaries, movies, and a plethora of young adult and children’s books filled the second floor space, on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.

Reading Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales | Introduction

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:

  1. The Frog Prince
  2. The Gallant Tailor
  3. The Giant and the Tailor
  4. The Little Farmer
  5. The Golden Key
  6. Sharing Joy and Sorrow
  7. The Nail
  8. Tom Thumb
  9. Tom Thumb’s Travels
  10. The Young Giant
  11. Sweet Porridge
  12. The Elves
  13. Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie
  14. The Old Beggar-Woman
  15. The Jew Among Thorns
  16. King Thrushbeard
  17. Clever Gretel
  18. Fitcher’s Bird
  19. The Robber Bridegroom
  20. Old Hildebrand
  21. The Singing Bone
  22. Maid Maleen
  23. The Goose-Girl
  24. The Skilful Huntsman
  25. The Princess in Disguise
  26. Cinderella
  27. Simeli Mountain
  28. The Glass Coffin
  29. Rapunzel
  30. The Sleeping Beauty
  31. Old Rinkrank
  32. Hansel and Gretel
  33. The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean
  34. The Death of the Hen
  35. The Rabbit’s Bride
  36. The Hare and the Hedgehog
  37. The Dog and the Sparrow
  38. Old Sultan
  39. Mr. Korbes
  40. The Vagabonds
  41. The Owl
  42. The Bremen Town Musicians
  43. The Wonderful Musician
  44. The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage
  45. The Crumbs on the Table
  46. The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership
  47. The Spider and the Flea
  48. The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids
  49. The Wolf and the Fox
  50. The Wolf and the Man
  51. Gossip Wolf and the Fox
  52. Little Red Riding Hood
  53. How Mrs. Fox Married Again
  54. The Fox and the Geese
  55. The Fox and the Horse
  56. The Fox and the Cat
  57. The Sole
  58. The Willow-Wren
  59. The Willow-Wren and the Bear

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



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