Friday, March 6, 2009

Antique Books

We're talking books today.  Not necessarily the sort that you keep on your nightstand.  More the sort that you use to prop up a lamp that is too short, or to vary the height in a group of decorative  accessories.  You do that, right?

I'm drawn to colorful bindings and beautiful gilding.  To cover illustrations and elaborate old fonts.  And a little wear and tear doesn't hurt either.  Old books are works of art.

Of course, it's always fun to actually read them, too.  ;)


  1. Mary when I was a little girl we had a finished basement in our house with bookshelves similar to yours just chock full of old books like yours, some of them classics like Huck Finn & Moby Dick. As a child I would thumb through them since many had illistrations amongst the text, but I never realized their true value until I was married. Unfortunately by that time my parents had moved and all the books were thrown out! UGH! Oh how I wish I had those books now!Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have loved books since I was a child. They are a comfort to me.

    Your post and photos are wonderful.

  3. LOL, yes, I put things on top of piles of books...mostly because books are stacked everywhere. I don't think it is exactly what you are talking about. GRIN

    I think in a decade or three books, real books, will be long gone. These wonderful ones you've collected will be even more priceless.

    I haven't visited your blog in a long while. (I wonder why?) I'm glad I picked today to return. I enjoyed the post.

  4. I love books of all kinds, but the older ones with the beautiful illustrations and gilding are especially wonderful. The more books the better.

  5. Years ago, we substituted an old dictionary for one of the legs of a family room sofa. It was one of those Mother of Invention fixes.

    We love all books, and I am lucky to have some lovely old 19th century volumes given to me by my great aunt. Books were so very pretty then.

    I'm glad you got a kick out of my Thursday post! A message from you is like hearing from a rock star -- your blog is just perfect.

    Enjoy the warmer weather. Yay!

  6. You've got some real pretties there, Mary. I love antique books, and I'm in the happy position that both my academic as well as my creative research often present me with a great excuse to buy old books. I've got several nineteenth-century guidebooks (I swear in one of them you can still find traces of nineteenth-century mud! *g*) and at least twelve different editions of "The Seven Champions of Christendom," some of them with pretty pictures, too!

  7. Exactly right! Old books serve as a work of art. Lovely colours add that needed splash.

  8. Yes, I am almost as charmed by the look of a book as by the content. You've got a wonderful assortment!

  9. you have a colorful selection of books.
    i also stack books to place lamps on. although i know you're not supposed to by a book by it's cover, i do this quite a bit. I have a thing for red bindings.

  10. I couldn't agree with you more. I have over 200 books in my home library. Only about 80 of them are really nice enough looking to be displayed, but I love to collect and read old books. I think a little wear and tear ads to their appeal too. Especially on the three books that I inherited from my Great Grandmother.

  11. I have books scattered all about my house. I only have two bookshelves, so I stack the rest in corners, on tables, etc. I love them. Someone said, I believe it was an author, but I can't remember who, that all you really need to decorate a home are books. They make a house feel so warm. Your books are beautiful, and create lovely displays.

  12. I have tons of old books propping up stuff, elevating items in the back, etc. I love it when the library has their book sale, I go and buy all the "old" looking books and change them about as the seasons change so the colors don't clash. (For instance, I put the orange ones away when Christmas comes!). The older and tattier the better...those always seem to be my favorites. Glad to know there are other old book-aholics out there too!

  13. I love old books but my mom was really a fanantic about them. One of my treasures is the tattered copy of Van Doon Lives.

  14. I do use books in that way but I don't have this beautiful kind of books...*sigh.....
    Where do you get them??

  15. can never have too many! I love to read them and stack "stuff" on them.I especially love "old" books with their beautiful bindings. I recently started collecting older children's books......especially Beatrix all time favorite!!!


  16. You've said it best: Old books are works of art. They are all over my house, and I "decorate" with them.

    I also have many that belonged to my grandfather. They are special indeed.

    Sadie Bell's Books

  17. I like how you incorporate them into your decorating scheme. Love that little acorn, too.

  18. :) I use books for everything. To spruce up the coffee table. hold things in the position I want them in, to set lamps on, vases on and of course..on occassion I ..finally read them. I have many I don't read because they are not of interest to me but now and then I will pick one up while rearranging things, something about the book will catch my eye..a word maybe and before I know it I am reading away and wondering HOW on earth it ever slipped by me. I love books. For beauty, convenience, and best of all good company.
    Hugs cause I love ya!

  19. I love old books too. I especially love the way they smell. Mmmmm...


  20. Hi Mary,
    when you get a chance please come visit my blog. I have a well deserved award for you today.
    Have a wonderful Sunday,

  21. Hi Mary,

    I blame my book addiction on my mom. I used to think it was silly the way she hung on to those old books. Half of them had cracked bindings and had that wierd spicy smell. Uhm...of course now I realize the truth. I was young and very silly. That spicy smell is the sweetest parfume in the world isn't it?


  22. Gorgeous! I use books for decoration, too, but I was always sold by the title, now I know I should have looked at the covers!

    I am having to make my blog private. If you would like to be a part of my readership, please email me at

    I know, it's a pain!

  23. Oh yes....I do this, too. Great little accents for a punch of color or to lift an object "up."
    You sure do have a nice variety!!!


  24. I love using books in my decor... I placed some under a lamp a few weeks ago to give it more height. Worked great! Your books are lovely... so vintage.

    The Blue Ridge Gal


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love to hear what you have to say!