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Observer Pocket Books

The Observer's Books

Observer This series of small, pocket-sized books was published by Frederick Warne & Co in the United Kingdom between 1937 and 2003. They covered a variety of topics including hobbies, art, history and wildlife. The aim of these books was to interest the amateur observer but they were also very popular with children. Some of them have become collector's items but for the dedicated collector this could be a lifetime's work as there are over 800 variations, some of which are now rare.

The books were produced with paper dust jackets up until 1969. Each one had a unique pattern of squiggly lines at the top but the paper was not especially practical because it was easy to rip and stain. From 1970, the covers were protected with a glossy coating. These types are often referred to as "Glossies". From the late 1970s, Warne decided to laminate the covers to the actual books to make them sturdier and more resistant to wear.

The first Observer's guide was published in 1937, and was on the subject of British Birds. This is now rare, and a mint copy with a dust cover is worth hundreds of pounds. The same year, Warne published a second Observer's book on British Wild Flowers. When the popularity of these was recognized, several more titles were added but during World War II production was limited due to paper and labour shortages. The first few Observer's titles had focused on nature, but gradually subjects like geology, music and architecture were introduced. 'Spotter' titles like Aircraft, Automobiles and Railway Locomotives always proved popular.

When Warne was acquired by Penguin Books in 1983, Warne brought out new editions of the Observer's books. These were slightly bigger than the original books, and were in paperback, not hardback. The same year Penguin, with permission of Warne, started printing their own, more up-to-date Observer's books. These again were slightly larger than the originals, but were hardbacks. Like the later original Observer's books, the dust covers were laminated to the actual book. Production of the series finished in 2003 with number 100 Wayside and Woodland edition.

At cj-books-etc we are delighted to offer a great selection of these iconic books. If there is a particular title you are looking for, just contact us as we might just have it in stock but not yet listed.

Observer's Pocket Books

Architecture (13)

1958 revised edition
by John Penoyre
& Michael Ryan
275 illustrations

Complete with full colour dust jacket

Architecture (13)

Used very good
£10.50
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Astronomy 1971 (32)

1971 revised edition
by Patrick Moore
64 plates plus 16 illustrations by L F Ball
Complete with full colour dust jacket
This is an ex-library copy with usual stamps and marks
ISBN 0723200939
Astronomy 1971 (32)

Used good
£5.50
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

British Birds Eggs 1954 (18)

1954 first edition
by G Evans
180 eggs with
154 illustrated in full colour

Complete with full colour dust jacket

British Birds Eggs 1954 (18)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Birds 1962 (1)

1962 reprint
by S Very Benson
243 species, 200 illustrations
including 100 in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Birds 1962 (1)

Used very good
£4.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Birds 1967 (1)

1967 reprint
by S Very Benson
243 species, 200 illustrations
including 100 in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Birds 1967 (1)

Used good
£4.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Birds 1971 (1)

1971 reprint
by S Very Benson
243 species, 200 illustrations
including 100 in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723200432
Birds 1971 (1)

Used very good
£4.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

British Insects (17)

1962 reprint
by E F Linssen and L Hugh Newman
All British orders
64 plates with 32 in full colour
No dust jacket
British Insects (17)

Used acceptable
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

British Grasses, Sedges and Rushes 1942 (7)

1942 edition
by W J Stokoe and A Laurence Wells
64 plates including 16 drawn by LF Ball
Complete with full colour dust jacket
British Grasses, Sedges and Rushes 1942 (7)

Used very good
£30.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible A

Butterflies (3)

1962 reprint
by W J Stokoe
All species in Britain
154 illustrations including 69 in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Butterflies (3)

Used good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Cacti and other succulants (27)

1958 first edition
by S H Scott
300 species all fully illustrated
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Cacti and other succulants (27)

Used very good
£50.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Old English Churches (36)

1969 revised edition
by Lawrence E Jones
44 plates and drawings by A S B New
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723200785
Old English Churches (36)

Used very good
£6.50
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Common Fungi (19)

1964 reprint
by E M Wakefield
200 species, 32 colour plates
and 64 natural photographs
Complete with full colour dust jacket
LCCN 16491164
Common Fungi (19)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Ferns (12)

1961 reprint
by W J Stokoe
45 species with illustrations
Full colour dust jacket with tears and missing section
Ferns (12)

Used acceptable
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Flowering Trees and Shrubs (44)

1972 first edition
by Stanley B Whitehead
Over 150 genera illustrated in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723215065 Flowering Trees and Shrubs (44)

Used very good
£8.75
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Freshwater Fishes (6)

1964 reprint
by A Laurence Wells
82 species, 70 illustrations
including 66 in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Freshwater Fishes (6)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Garden Flowers (25)

1965 reprint
by Arthur King
200 illustrations including 100 in full colour
and 100 half tone by Joan Lupton
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Garden Flowers (25)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Geology 1971 (10)

1971 first edition
by I O Evans
170 illustrations with 12 pages in colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Geology 1971 (10)

Used good
£5.75
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Geology 1974 (10)

1974 reprint
by I O Evans
93 photographs and 65 drawings
Complete with full colour dust jacket
This is an ex-library copy with usual stamps and marks
ISBN 0723200920
Geology 1974 (10)

Used good
£4.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Golf 1977 (58)

1977 reprint
by Tom Scott
8 colour plates and 26 black and white photographs
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723215200
Golf 1977 (58)

Used very good
£3.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Grasses, Rushes and Sedges 1965 (7)

1965 revised edition
by Francis Rose
100 species, 102 illustrations including 42 in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
SBN 01722465
Grasses, Rushes and Sedges 1965 (7)

Used very good
£15.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Heraldry 1968 (41)

1968 reprint
by Charles MacKinnon of Dunakin
12 colour plates and 118 line drawings
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723200831
Heraldry 1968 (41)

Used very good
£5.25
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Lichens (33)

1977 first edition
by Kenneth L Alvin
53 colour illustrations and 53 black and white
ISBN 0723215669
Lichens (33)

Used very good
£17.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Jazz (76)

1978 first edition
by Mark White
This copy has been signed by a number of jazz musicians from the 1970s and 1980s. For photographs of the signatures click here
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Jazz (76)

Used very good
£40.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Modern Art (34)

1964 first edition
by William Gaunt
Fully illustrated
Complete with full colour dust jacket
LCCN 6213622
Modern Art (34)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Mosses (20)

1964 reprint
by Arthur L Jewell
116 species fully illustrated in colour and black and white
Complete with full colour dust jacket which has some wear
Mosses (20)

Used good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Music (16)

1962 reprint
by Freda Dinn
Illustrated by Paul Sharp
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Music (16)

Used very good
£6.25
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Painting and Graphic Art 1958 (26)

1958 first edition
by William Gaunt
16 colour plates and 57 black and white reproductions
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723200785
 Painting and Graphic Art 1958 (26)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Painting and Graphic Art 1964 (26)

1964 reprint
by William Gaunt
16 colour plates and 57 black and white reproductions
Complete with full colour dust jacket
LCCN 1529264
 Painting and Graphic Art 1964 (26)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Postage Stamps (42)

1967 first edition
by Anthony S B New
8 colour plates and almost 200 reproductions of photographs
Complete with full colour dust jacket
LCCN 6810043
Postage Stamps (42)

Used very good
£5.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.
A
International deliveries possible

Sculpture (37)

1966 first edition
by William Gaunt
8 colour plates and 62 black and white illustrations
Complete with full colour dust jacket
LCCN 6615684
Sculpture (37)

Used very good
£10.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Trees (4)

1960 revised edition
by W J Stokoe
106 species, 12 colour plates
50 line drawings and
110 half tone photographs
Dust jacket has some wear
including a split along the spine
Trees (4)

Used good
£6.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Weather 1955 (22)

1955 first edition
by Reginald M Lester
Colour and black and white illustrations
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Weather 1955 (22)

Used very good
£10.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Weather 1970 (22)

1970 reprint
by Reginald M Lester
Colour and black and white illustrations
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Weather 1970 (22)

Used very good
£8.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Wild Animals 1958 (5)

1958 revised edition
by W J Stokoe revised by Maurice Burton
64 species, 72 illustrations
Complete with full colour dust jacket
Wild Animals 1958 (5)

Used very good
£6.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Wild Animals 1968 (5)

1968 revised edition
by W J Stokoe revised by Maurice Burton
64 species, 72 illustrations
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723200475
Wild Animals 1968 (5)

Used very good
£5.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Wild Flowers (2)

1963 revised edition
by W J Stokoe
200 species, 220 illustrations
Complete with full colour dust jacket
ISBN 0723200831
Wild Flowers (2)

Used good
£5.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Sea and seashore 1962 (31)

1962 first edition
by I O Evans
82 species, 70 illustrations including 66 in full colour
Complete with full colour dust jacket
LCCN 6212501
Sea and seashore 1962 (31)

Used very good
£5.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

Furniture 1980 (35)

1980 revised edition
by John Woodforde
195 line illustrations by Roy Spencer
Full colour hardback
ISBN 0723200777
Furniture

Used very good
£5.00
FREE delivery for UK addresses.

International deliveries possible

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