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Observers Books Index

SERIES OVERVIEW

OBSERVERS 1-50

An overview of Observers Books 1-50 with images of each cover.

 

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OBSERVERS 51-100

An overview of Observers Books 51-100 with images of each cover.

 

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SERIES In DETAIL

OBSERVER'S BOOKS 1 - 10

The Observer's Book of (British) Birds (No. 1)
The Observer's Book of (British) Wild Flowers (No. 2)
The Observer's Book of (British) Butterflies (No. 3)
The Observer's Book of Trees (and Shrubs of the British Isles) (No. 4)
The Observer's Book of (British) Wild Animals (of the British Isles) (No. 5)
The Observer's Book of FreshWater Fishes (of the British Isles) (No. 6)
The Observer's Book of (British) Grasses Sedges & Rushes (No. 7)
The Observer's Book of Dogs (No. 8)
The Observer's Book of Horses and Ponies (No. 9)
The Observer's Book of (British) Geology (No. 10)View Page

Observer's Books 11 - 20

The Observer's Book of Aircraft (No. 11)
The Observer's Book of (British) Ferns (No. 12)
The Observer's Book of (British) Architecture (No. 13)
The Observer's Book of Larger (British) Moths (No. 14)
The Observer's of Book Ships (No. 15)
The Observer's Book of Music (No. 16)
The Observer's Book of Common (British) Insects and Spiders (No. 17)
The Observer's Book of (British) Birds' Eggs (No. 18)
The Observer's Book of Common Fungi or The Observer's Books of Mushrooms, Toadstool and other Common Fungi (No. 19)
The Observer's Book of Mosses and Liverworts (No. 20)                            View Page

Observer's Books 21 - 30

The Observer's Book of Automobiles (No. 21)
The Observer's Book of Weather (No. 22)
The Observer's Book of Railway Locomotives of Britain or The Observer's Book of British Steam Locomotives (No. 23)
The Observer's Book of Pond Life(No. 24)
The Observer's Book of Garden Flowers (No. 25)
The Observer's Book of Painting and Graphic Art (No. 26)
The Observer's Book of Cacti and Other Succulents (No. 27)
The Observer's Book of Sea Fishes (No. 28)
The Observer's Book of Flags (No. 29)
The Observer's Book of Cats (No. 30)
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Observer's Books 31 - 40

The Observer's Book of Sea and Seashore (No. 31)
The Observer's Book of Astronomy (No. 32)
The Observer's Book of Lichens (No. 33)
The Observer's Book of Modern Art (No. 34)
The Observer's Book of Furniture(No. 35)
The Observer's Book of Old English Churches (No. 36)
The Observer's Book of Sculpture (No. 37)
The Observer's Book of Basic Aircraft - Civil (No. 38)
The Observer's Book of Basic Aircraft - Military (No. 39)
The Observer's Book of Commercial Vehicles (No. 40)View Page

Observer's Books 41 - 50

The Observer's Book of Heraldry (No. 41)
The Observer's Book of Postage Stamps (No. 42)
The Observer's Book of Cathedrals (No. 43)
The Observer's Book of Flowering Trees & Shrubs (No. 44)
The Observer's Book of Zoo Animals (No. 45)
The Observer's Book of House Plants (No. 46)
The Observer's Book of Soccer (Association Football) (No. 47)
The Observer's Book of Manned Spaceflight (No. 48)
The Observer's Book of Cricket (No. 49)
The Observer's Book of London (No. 50)View Page

Observer's Books 51 - 60

The Observer's Book of Pottery and Porcelain (No. 51)
The Observer's Book of Unmanned Spaceflight (No. 52)
The Observer's Book of Motor Sport (No. 53)
The Observer's Book of European Costume (No. 54)
The Observer's Book of British Awards and Medals (No. 55)
The Observer's Book of Ancient and Roman Britain (No. 56)
The Observer's Book of Sewing (No. 57)
The Observer's Book of Golf (No. 58)
The Observer's Book of Coarse Fishing (No. 59)
The Observer's Book of Show Jumping & Eventing (No. 60)View Page

Observer's Books 61 - 70

The Observer's Book of Motorcycles (No. 61)
The Observer's Book of Glass (No. 62)
The Observer's Tourist Atlas of Great Britain (No. 63)
The Observer's Book of Small Craft (No. 64)
The Observer's Book of Tropical Fishes (No. 65)
The Observer's Book of Farm Animals (No. 66)
The Observer's Book of Vegetables (No. 67)
The Observer's Book of Fly Fishing (No. 68)
The Observer's Book of British Coins(No. 69)
The Observer's Book of Seashells (No. 70)View Page

Observer's Books 71 - 80

The Observer's Book of Fossils (No. 71)
The Observer's Book of Pets (No. 72)
The Observer's Book of Cotswolds and Shakespeare Country (No. 73)
The Observer's Book of The Lake District (No. 74)
The Observer's Book of Firearms (No. 75)
The Observer's Book of Jazz (No. 76)
The Observer's Book of Big Bands (No. 77)
The Observer's Book of Castles (No. 78)
The Observer's Book of Caterpillars (No. 79)
The Observer's Book of Rocks and Minerals(No. 80)View Page

Observer's Books 81 - 90

The Observer's Book of Tennis (No. 81)
The Observer's Book of Sea Fishing (No. 82)
The Observer's Book of Devon and Cornwall (No. 83)
The Observer's Book of Roses (No. 84)
The Observer's Book of Herbs (No. 85)
The Observer's Book of Country Houses (No. 86)
The Observer's Book of Folk Song in Britain (No. 87)
The Observer's Book of Silver (No. 88)
The Observer's Book of Tanks & Other Armoured Vehicles (No. 89)
The Observer's Book of Victoriana (No. 90)View Page

Observer's Books 91 - 100

The Observer's World Atlas (No. 91)
The Observer's Book of Vintage Cars and Pre-War Classics (No. 92)
The Observer's Book of Classic Cars after 1945 (No. 93)
The Observer's Book of Paris (No. 94)
The Observer's Book of Canals (No. 95)
The Observer's Book of Gardens of England, Scotland and Wales (No. 96)
The Observer's Book of Kitchen Antiques (No. 97)
The Observer's Book of Opera (No. 98)
The Observer's Book of Observer's Books (No. 99)
The Observer's Book of Wayside and Woodland (No. 100)View Page

ARTICLEs

Observer Books

These delightful pocket sized books have become both a collector's delight and a torture for those whose aim it is to collect every variation of every edition. Prices for books in this informative series vary from the hundreds of pounds for a 1st edition of The Observer's Book of Birds, with a wrapper, to a few pence for some titles published in the Observer's heyday of the 1970's.

 

So where did it all start?View Article

FEATURED Books

2 - The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers

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.View Featured Book

11 - The Observer's Book of Aircraft

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.View Featured Book

13 - The Observer's Book of "British" Architecture

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."

17 - The Observer's Book of Common Insects & Spiders

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.

 

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33 - The Observer's Book of Lichens

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.View Featured Book

62 - The Observer's Book of Glass

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.

View Featured Book

92 - The Observer's Book of Vintage Cars And Pre-war Classics

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.View Featured Book