I have a love affair with old books. Long before the world of blogging and all the fabulous design and decor inspiration we see, I used old books as risers for objets d'art or a lamp I wanted to make more important. Mostly, I used my old college books because they had worn faded colors of red, green and black. I have covered books in French sheet music to use as a riser, even using old books on a dinner table setting.
I know there are lots of kindred spirits out there. Because I see lots more old books when I am out treasure hunting than I used to. Selling them on my website and booth as art, not for their value, it doesn't matter to me if they are tattered, worn, battered, bruised, pencil marked, torn or missing a page. To me, that just shows me they were much read, loved and hugged.
Children's book collecting has grown so much due in part to the classics our grandparents read as a child, our parents read, we read and now read to our children and grandchildren. I once found a fabulous old copy of Alice in Wonderland. My sister's name is Alice. Much to my delight, when I opened that book, it had an old library card in the back, with her old school stamped on it. She got that book as a gift and cherishes it.
My favorites have become the sweet petite antique Victorian gift books or poetry books, charming old Victorian children's books and gardening books. Due to high cost, colored illustrations were a rarity in true Victorian books, with most having beautifully illustrated black and white pictures. But the front covers were a treasure of color with beautiful pictures, often with gold gilt. The engravings and chromos of these old books are a true treasure.
The beautiful patina of this antique Little Red Riding Hood Victorian book cannot be duplicated. I adore how the once bright red fabric has mellowed to a soft pinky worn red.
Aren't these cover illustrations just gorgeous?!!!
So many fabulous monotone engravings added within the stories themselves. If the books are in really bad shape and falling apart, these illustrations are just wonderful as framed art.
These books were my latest acquisitions and will be on the website. Home Stories, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood are exquisite pieces of ephemera. Treat these old books, not for their value, but as amazing pieces of art work displayed in your home.
Thank you Beverly, of How Sweet the Sound and Pink Saturday, for allowing me to tweak my pink just a bit. Worn and decayed red works beautifully with pink. :) And yep, I do read some of these old books. Just recently I found a gorgeous old copy of Shakespeare's works, written in such childlike simplicity, everyone gets the story. I plan on reading them to my grand-girls when next they visit. It's a Chicago kind of day here today. It's cold, cold, cold and real windy...brrrr. Hope you are having a fabulous day and nice and cozy where you are!