Collecting vintage books is the best of collecting. Inexpensive gems are easily found. Clippings and handwritten notes, more than a century old, are often found within—a glimpse into another lifetime. When I find these treasures hidden inside my vintage books, I carefully slip them back where they had been placed—and forgotten—so long ago. Those delightful surprises wait between the pages for one to happen upon with surprise again one day.
care and collecting of vintage books.
║Vintage children's books are filled with illustrations, like mine shown above, that are too sweet to stay closed within the pages of a book. Make a good copy of your favorite illustration on cream paper, then frame and hang to display on walls.
║A small stack of books, with complimentary hued covers, bring prettiness to a nightstand or dresser. Top with a vintage clock or lamp.
║Enjoy and display your books; but find a place out of direct, fading sunlight.
║Collect what you are interested in. I am a children's book illustrator, so I am drawn to vintage children's books. My collection favorites are vintage children's picture books—most often nursery rhyme books that were so common at the beginning of the last century. I also hold dear our classic volumes of Heidi and Mary Poppins. Homemaking draws up much of my day; so I find vintage cookbooks and the ways of homemakers of the past fascinating to read about and collect too.
║You do not need to deal with expensive dealers or auctions to find real treasures. Every book in my collection was less than $1 and found at estate and yard sales or adopted from library discards. My collection is small, but carefully chosen.
║Do not judge a book by its cover. Take it off. Many old, discarded library books are covered with plastic-wrapped book jackets. Remove the book jacket to display your volume with it's original, beautiful, canvas or leather bookcover.
║Bindings and pages are fragile. Place your book on a solid surface before opening; and be sure your hands are oil free. Never place your book with open pages face down to mark your page. Damaging even to new books, this is a sure way to crack your book's binding and leave your pages loose.
║When purchasing old books, check for bookworms—small, white worms that feast on the glues used in vintage book bindings. Bookworms may be eradicated by placing the book in a sealed plastic bag with moth balls for at least 2 weeks. But, you may simply choose to pass up this problem for another less troublesome book.
║Do not repair your old books. Tape becomes brittle and yellowed with age, marring the pages of books. Bookbinders with archival book materials can repair your books properly if you wish; or continue to enjoy your books as they age in their own ways as we do. We place pages that fall loose in a folder on the book shelf, in case the one who cherishes our books next may choose to have them repaired.
║Use your vintage books. Our more-than-a-century-year-old book of nursery rhymes is more tattered than when I first happened upon it—from our children enjoying its contents. But, books were made for reading. Even old books. If you have read The Velveteen Rabbit, you know that only things that are used and worn are truly loved.
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Love our printables in our shop, but do not want to print them yourself? Have a copy shop print them for you. Or, click on the book kits we have available on Amazon, below. These book kits are creative gifts to have on hand too!