Thursday, August 26, 2010

Decorating with Vintage Books ~

For me, a house is simply not a home without books....
lots of books!



I suppose I developed this love of books from my mother who worked many years as a librarian. I have shelves upon shelves of books... children's books, fiction, non-fiction, reference, educational, professional, biographies, and of course some juicy novels...

Books give a home history and the book titles themselves can reveal a little something about the residents  who live there. 

Some of my book shelves look sloppy and undecorated... and that's okay... I've slowly learned to live with that...

I will admit, I went through a phase where I took all of my dust jackets off my books so that my bookshelves would look more sophisticated.  I think it was a mistake.

I also covered each book in my World Book Encyclopedia set with white craft paper because the hardbacks didn't match my decor {can you say Martha Stewart?}. 

That didn't last too long because my kids could never find the right Encyclopedia... it was then that  I realized my decorating was making it impossible for my children to function in my 'decorated' house.

To make my shelves look prettier, I decided to start collecting 'vintage books' ....

When I first started shopping for vintage books, I would buy anything that was old, well priced and/or  attractive.  

Thrift stores and flea markets, even garage sales are great places to find old books...  

But, slowly, I discovered that instead of my shelves looking "collected" they were just starting to look junky!

SO, instead of collecting books, I decided to focus on collections of books...



This is the pine hutch in my family room. My husband wants to purchase a much LARGER television for this room to hang on the wall {ugh!}.  I would loose the top portion to my hutch, and in turn, I would loose all the wonderful decorating space inside!

I am resisting the BIG television, for now....


Here is a peek into our hutch and some of my favorite book collections: 


This collection of Charles Dickens books was purchased at a Thrift Store....




 A family was clearing out an estate and this set came in while I was shopping.




Sometimes, timing is everything!







Even the inside of the books are beautiful....

Charming illustrations!




A few weeks later, I found this set of Mark Twain books!




That was a very lucky month....




I love the "MT" on the cover of each book... 

Look at the wonderful cloth texture of the cover!




Again, more lovely illustrations...




This HUGE dictionary was purchased recently.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I purchased it to tear up for a scrapbooking project.
  
Once I had it home, I realized it was way too special to destroy!




Charming picture inside the cover...



Amazing size and weight to this one!   

I paid $8.00 for it, score!




I found this collection of Abraham Lincoln books at a Thrift Store....



My husband was a Political Science major in college, 

so I told myself that he would appreciate them...  

Here honey, I bought these for you !



They fit perfectly in our old wicker desk....



This tiny Shakespeare book is one of my favorites... 

perfect green, with silver accents....

so worn and delicate...



my unmatched books are charming too....


Two George Eliot books found at Salvation Army... 

at $2.00 each they came home with me...




I love the graphic design on the covers! 


 I saw these Charles Dickens books at the Rose Bowl flea market.

I really debated buying them...

I already had these titles... 

did I need more?  

My 'other' Dickens book collection is cloth...

These are LEATHER...

of course I needed them!!!



Love the gold "D" emblem on the cover!






My favorite thing about decorating with vintage books is....

books never go out of style... 

They are TIMELESS!!

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my vintage book collection.

Please come back soon to visit!
I hope you will consider following my blog!
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38 comments:

Red Gate Farm said...

Just came over from Suburban Retreat... Now I'm a follower too!

The huge, vintage dictionary is fabulous! I love the look of it open, like someone just used it! And the George Eliot books are beautiful pieces of art and history. LOVE this post.

Beautiful place you have, I look forward to looking through some of your past posts...

Chris

niartist said...

There isn't one thing you post that I don't go crazy for. :) Love this, and love the story too! Scott's a kook for books, too! We have them all over the house in every room. Course I can't blame it all on him, I pick up an interior design book everytime I'm in B&N! LOL!! Thanks so much for linking up this Friday, I'm SO glad you did, and I value your participation! Hope you'll link up next week too!

Sandra said...

You have a wonderful old book collections...I love the classics and old school readers. What is up with husband and getting a bigger tv? My husband just bought a bigger one for the bedroom...its like watching IMAX. The old smaller tv was find with me. lol

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I also love to decorate with vintage books, especially the leather ones. You have a fantastic collection and I love your style!
Hugs, Sherry

Meg said...

This is a WONDERFUL suggestion. I'm a big book reader and my bookshelves look pretty awful. I hide them away in a corner of a bedroom, where no one can see them! This would be a much better solution for me. Thank you for the inspiration!

I'm having a Target giveaway and a link party on my blog. I'd love it if you joined! alittleknickknack.blogspot.com

Suzan said...

Love your collection. I have a set of very small leather bound books that I love. My former husband and I had a wonderful collection of books from the mid-1800's. When we divorced and I moved to Seattle I left them with him. What was I thinking?!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

This post thrills me to no end!!! I love it....as I love the old classics and collecting them myself!

My link for you... WIZARD OF OZ
Do come by to say hello if you have time!

Lori said...

Wonderful to have so many in each set. Looks so great together. Hmm, modern technology, bigger TV, I know you will find a place for the collection of books to move to.

Laura said...

My family has a big old dictionary, which I am desperate to bring over here. It's similar to the one you picked up, but in blue leather. It also has a pressed four-leaved clover inside, which I found as a child... If it's here, it might bring some luck into our home! Lx

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

What a wonderful collection of vintage books! They are such a wonderful addition to your beautiful home...so warm and inviting! It is just and added bonus that you purchased them at such amazing prices! Lucky you!

Enjoy!
Cathy

Rozmeen said...

Looks very beautiful..you have a great vintage book collection.


Hugs,
Rozmeen

My Yellow House said...

Oh my, you have some beautiful sets and I love how you have them all displayed - they really show well in your home. Isn't it shame that the books made today aren't leather with embossed gold lettering...they won't be pretty for future generations to collect.
I've been collecting books for a long time but make sure that I always buy ones that I will also read. But I would LOVE to have a big dictionary like yours-it's fantastic. If you have the urge to scrapbook with it...stop and put it right in the mail to me! :)
Have a wonderful weekend ~
Sarah

Lisa said...

You have a fabulous book collection and each display is beautiful! Hey, what's with men and their BIG TVs?
Lisa@SuburbanRetreat

Carrie said...

Yes, I enjoyed reading about your development in decorating with books. The book sets you found are wonderful finds, and they look great as you've used them in your home decor.

Shelia said...

Oh, my! This is just gorgeous and you do have some lovely book collections.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Cori said...

I just thoroughly enjoyed browsing through your spaces and seeing your creative and beautiful use of the old books. They are fabulous accents and they really do need to be rescued and given another ife.

Love your blog...

Cori
Starview Sonnet

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

These are beautiful! LOVE books! I love the candle with the wax all dripping down....and the binnoculars....you are a true visual artist!

Gorgeous!

Lou Cinda :)

Nancy's Notes said...

What a fabulous collection of vintage books, all just awesome! I love vintage books and thank you for sharing them with us, they truly are wonderful.

I just signed up to follow your great blog!

Nancy

Life in Rehab said...

Your whole home is just fantastic.

Atticmag said...

Your books are beautiful and interesting additions to your home. A very smart collection. Decorators charge a fortune to provide "the right" books (f.ex. leather or Shakespeare) for clients' libraries.

BTW - we have a unique DIY kitchen or laundry backsplash giveaway that might be useful to you or a friend. Please stop by our Giveaway Friday! Jane F.

Allison Shops said...

I think we were separated at birth - following your blog now. Will bookmark and come back later to explore. I think you'll enjoy my Classic Trends post from yesterday.

I wanted to let you know about Atticmag's new linky party - Giveaway Friday! It's a convenient place for bloggers to link their giveaways each week. We've kicked it off with a fantastic giveaway of our own. I see JaneF has told you about it already... Hope to see you there!

Allison
Atticmag

Jennifer Davenport said...

Love the old books! Especially, the one with the letter "d" of course!

Liz said...

Just found you! I am all for decorative books, if people actually read them and enjoy them, and it sounds like you do. Come visit us. See you soon.
Liz

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I can't tell you how much I love old books. New books are nice, but old books just tell a bigger story than what is between the pages - the story of who might have read them before us; the story of many years of books lovingly held in someone's hands and in the bookshelves of someone's home. You have a wonderful collection. The workmanship that went into the covers of older books is really amazing. I love your hutch too, and oh, I can see why you are resisting the new t.v. It would be such a shame to not have that beautiful storage for your book collections. Thank you so much for linking this to Favorite Things Sat. Have a great weekend. laurie

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

I just started collecting old books a couple of months ago. Yours are very nice and that huge one for so cheap! I would love to find some more leather ones at reasonable prices. I need a lot more for my shelves.

Patti said...

Your hutch is lovely (I have the same Dickens collection (mine have blue covers)...books really give a home the "warm touch"!!

Elizabeth Ann said...

Love all your book collections. I noticed several of them in other pictures of your home while I was stalking around your blog late one night. I have enjoyed every post, thank you.

Joyfully,
Elizabeth Ann

Diann said...

Oh, you just stole my book lovin' heart with these fantastic collections!! I just adore each set! I would love to find some of these beautiful volumes! thank you so much for sharing them with us and I am thrilled to see these vintage collections in a beautiful home!

Sue said...

Truly enjoyed seeing this post. I have just recently begun finding old books to use in vignettes. Love the look they bring to my decorating. And also to my own reading enjoyment, too. ~ Sue

Sarah said...

I adore vintage books and add them when I find them in my budget. Like you, I could have shelves and shelves of books if only I had the shelves. LOL Your blog is beautiful. I always enjoy my visits and leave inspired. You can count me as one of your newest followers and I've added you to the blog roll on the sidebar of HFTS. Hope you'll come over to visit! ~ Sarah

Liz said...

What a beautiful collection!!! I can never find anything like these! They are all so special!

~Liz

Amy Kinser said...

What beautiful collections of books you have. Those were fantastic finds and I am so happy you found them.

Partying with you tonight at Donna's. Stop by for a quick visit.

Tricia Rose said...

My mouth is watering - I am an inveterate reader but have nothing like your wonderful collection. I tend to buy second-hand from Amazon, for the content, and the binding is usually nondescript. I wish I had some of the old cloth-bound books from my youth! (my sister has them, so really I am happy with that). Some of us are not cut out for Kindle!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

ahhh yes...
there is something fabulous about old books.
you and i have the same taste!
i have them all over the house and use
them for display. LOVE the ones from SA!!

happy monday!
becky

Meg said...

Hi Marcy! I just featured this marvelous project on my blog! I'd love for you to grab an "I've been featured" button! Have a great day.

Kathysue said...

Love, love older books the craftsmanship that they have. The old leather bound books are real treasures, Kathysue

Kacey said...

Oh, what a lovely collection! I am a huge book lover and collect old books as well. Yours is so special! Thank you for sharing it. :)

Marla said...

Marcy, I just found your blog and in the process of devouring it! I love it missy! You are quite good at this. Love the old books, well really everything I have seen so far. Looking forward to more of your posts in the future. Marla