Posts Tagged ‘books’

In Praise of Old Books

Appreciating the many uses for old books

I didn’t choose the old book life, the old book life chose me. It all started when I found a monthly community book fair that liquidates its leftover merchandise–for free. I love a good Little Free Library, and this was like a Big Free Library. So I checked it out. There were childrens books, novels, non-fiction, business books, art books, travel guides, even media like VHS tapes (which in case you were wondering, weren’t exactly flying off the shelves).

I gravitated to the shelves of old, vintage and antique books. I started collecting them not for the content (I haven’t even read one yet) but for their visual value. The leather covers, torn and stained. The imprinted letters of the titles and the rough, uneven cut of the discolored pages. Each book is one of a kind, not something that can be ordered on Amazon. Each copy of one of these books could be the last ever in existence, you never know.

So I have a generous collection now–some might say too generous. So here’s how I’m putting them to good use.

Decorate with antique books

These books can be used as a display item, on a mantle or coffee table. They’re more than just books–they’re a little piece of the past. Plus it makes you seem highly cultured to have some distinguished volumes on the shelf to balance out those copies of Bergdorf Blondes and The 4-Hour Body or even How to Build a Car. Not that those are real titles I just saw on the shelf or anything. Hm. Moving on, here are some displayed on the mantle above the fireplace. Right now, the heavy volumes are actually playing a nice role holding up Christmas stockings.

Antique books for event centerpieces

I coordinated a wedding this fall at the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, and the couple used old books to create centerpieces! It went nicely with their Beauty and the Beast theme, with a little Chip teacup perched on top of the books!

Find old, vintage and antique books

In addition to used book sales, I’ve also seen older books pop up in Little Free Libraries from time to time. You just have to be in the right place at the right time. Most of these old books come from people’s personal collections, so hit up estate sales as well.

And of course, my all time favorite online shop for handmade and vintage goods, Etsy! (affiliatel link)

New Year’s Resolutions

Appreciating the decorative value of decades-old books has helped me with my goal of living more Eco-conciously this year. By rescuing these old books from going into the landfill, I also gained something that can’t be bought at the store. So if you’re looking for a sustainability-focused New Year’s Resolution, try this: This year, I will strive to use something already in existence instead of buying new. Even if it’s just once, it’s a fun thing to try.

Other New Year’s Resolutions to check out

I’ve linked up with some other websites to share more ideas for eco-centric New Year’s Resolutions.

Green Sustainable Resolutions

Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

DIY New Years Resolutions

Zero Waste Home

16 Ways to Save Money Every Month 

12 Sustainable Goals for the New Year

The Perfect Gift for Stylish Book Lovers

storiarts-literary-scarf-review2Which literary classic is your all-time favorite? There’s something soothing about literature that’s stood the test of time. No matter how much our world has changed since the books were written, the adventures of the characters are still the same. Among my favorites from the children’s classics I read growing up is The Secret Garden, which is the theme of the literary scarf I chose when Storiarts offered one to me for review. Believe me, this was a tough choice. Each scarf has a different combination of font and color. You can even get a music notes scarf and fingerless gloves.

Here are a few other Storiarts styles (click an image to shop):

Storiarts Literary Scarf Review

We all know a book lover, right? Maybe the book lover in your life is actually you. Well either way, these scarves make a great holiday or graduation gift.

They are made of double-layered cotton jersey, so the pattern shows on both sides. They are infinity scarves that can be looped once. I would call them mid-weight, as I have scarves that are lighter and scarves that are heavier. Next time I would probably order the summer weight scarf, which is made of the same type of fabric but less of it. The cotton jersey is stretchy and very wearable, but I would love it if Storiarts added more fabric options to the collection for more versatility. It’s a beautiful statement piece and conversation starter that I want to wear all year round, but it will get most of its use in the fall or early spring.

Storiarts literary scarfThis scarf is on my gift guide for Uncommon Goods and it can also be found directly from Storiarts, a small family business based in Oregon.storiarts-scarf-reviewI decided on The Secret Garden style for my Storiarts literary scarf review because of the green color and the line drawings, which not all the scarves have. Below I’ve included a photo of the scarf folded flat so you can see the full text excerpt and all three illustrations.

the-secret-garden-storiarts-scarfNow, I would love to hear what your favorite literary classic is! Today might be the perfect day November day to sit with a cup of tea and read one.