There is something about the look, feel and smell (is that creepy?) of an old book. We can’t help but wonder about how many readers it has held the attention of through the years, the places it has been, which cafes the coffee stains came from…
They are lovely items to have in your home and not just for the stories; they make great decorating items and adorable gifts for special friends. Most of all, if you look in the right thrift shops you could probably score a few for under $5 each.
We’ve rummaged through quite a few shelves in second hand stores and every visit usually scores us at least one sweet, old book. The one thing we’ve noticed consistently is that books from an earlier time were truly treasured. There is inevitably always a note on the first page when it has been given as a gift (in some cases, a little proclamation of love). There is generally also the name of the owner of the book written proudly in the front cover and sometimes along with an address and date (how is it that everyone from that time had such gorgeous handwriting?). We’ve found a couple of books with dates from the early 1900’s and these personal touches add so much charm and wonder to these items. We’ve even found things like old postcards, photographs or newspaper pieces wedged between the pages of some books.
You’ll find that the covers have worn away (or completely fallen off), the spine may be a bit of a mess and the pages discoloured; all of these signs of age only add to their charm, so don’t worry about looking for books in good condition.
To use them in decorating, pile two or three casually and add a favourite ornament, vase with a single flower or cute little bowl on top for keys, sweets or knick-knacks. It elevates the display from being just functional into a little work of art and certainly makes it a talking point as visitors will be intrigued by these books.
We’ve delighted friends by gifting them some old books tied together with some string and a hand-written label. This cute little bundle makes such a thoughtful and unique gift and always gets such a surprised and sincere reaction.
At the rate the world is moving, who knows how long books will keep getting published for. As we race forward with technology like e-readers, ipads and smart phones, slow down with things from a simpler time. They have a wonderful way of changing the pace of one’s day!