The other day my husband went to our storage unit to pick up a few things for a project (hint- Christmas) and when he was leaving, he drove past a table full of various bits and stacks by the driveway that said ‘FREE’. It is a usual ‘garage’ sale left over kind of thing- they simply stack the extras there and if anyone wants them- they can grab them.
He doesn’t usually stop – but that day, he saw something that he knew I would love.
A beautiful big collection of old books.
Collecting Old Books
You know what they say- you love what you love. And I Definitely love old books. Books with colorful spines, gold pages and elegant foil details.
Books with missing covers and bare spines showing the structure – I know it is a sore spot for many- I believe even when those books are missing covers and damaged and headed for the recycle bin- they are beautiful and can be enjoyed and I bring them home. But if you have books that are in good shape and just want a similar look – simply wrap them in paper and pencil the names on them.
Books in stacks of two or three. Or more.
Books that tell stories inside their pages – and also with their patina and beauty and the smell and feel of that chunky book.
Yes they are even in the cupboard in the dining room. I guess I kind of think they do belong anywhere and everywhere. (more about this styling HERE).
While many of the books I have were my grandmothers books that have a home in the cottage or the house now- and so they are special for that reason- most of the books are ones I have collected over the years.
There are many methods to the madness when it comes to collecting. You can collect certain authors, certain titles, certain looks- whatever you like. But – it is best to find them in the area you live because they can be expensive to ship- even with media mail. And if you find a whole collection of them on the Worlds Longest Yard Sale with GMC & Habitat for Humanity- and decide it is a *GREAT* idea to tuck them into your suitcase and your carryon and shoulder bag to bring them all.the.way.home- you know that lugging a collection of books on a flight is not the best idea either. My shoulder still aches when I think about it. So I decided to stick with close by finds from now on.
Try thrift stores, tag sales, and local used bookstores for various individual books and collections. There can be SO many on those shelves- so I like to search by ‘color’ if showing the binding- if you want colorful- grab all the colors. If you want a neutral look- stay with whites, tans, creams, browns, etc. I also love books that have gold embossing. And gold pages. Beyond beautiful.
These books in the cottage are a mishmash of collected and my grandmothers collection- which I love.
What do they cost
Well that is a big all over the place who knows price. Some books are 10 cents- others can be thousands of dollars. I have paid $3-5 for some books that I fell in love with or that are a special book to me – an old favorite story for example.
Many times you can do those ‘fill a bag’ sales with books at the thrift stores. That is a great way to get a whole bunch for $5 or $10- as long as you can stuff them in the bag and carry it. Of course, you can also go by the storage units and look for those ‘free’ tables. You just might get lucky and find a set of beauties waiting for you.
Encyclopedia & Dictionary Sets & More
The ‘free’ set of books are a set of encyclopedias- which basically is old time ‘google’ in todays world. So a lot of people don’t keep them and have them take up space when they can just google whatever they want to look up.
But even if you prefer to ‘google’ something- they are beautiful books to bring home even if you may not necessarily find yourself using them. And I don’t shy away from adding them when I find them or any other books that talk to me for whatever reason. Often you can find whole sets at one time and start your collection off with a bang.
I hope this inspires you to bring out those collected and old favorite books you might have in storage or the attic. Maybe give them a read again before enjoying them in your home.