Decorating with Vintage Books

I remember it like it was yesterday… I was 12, and had gone over to a friend’s house for the day.  We walked down the street to the corner store to do an errand for her mom (this was back in the day when kids walked everywhere).  On the way back we past an antique shop and decided to check it out.  It was the first time I had ever been in a store like this.  Vintage furniture everywhere and a faint smell of the past in the air.  Every booth was packed with treasures and each one had more character than the next.  It was love at first sight!  Oh, be sure to check out our blog hop with some fabulous bloggers at the bottom of this post!

For those of us that love all things vintage, you know that feeling you get when you find something special, that one of a kind item?!  That’s what happened that day over 23 years ago.  I spotted a set of 2 small worn vintage books, resting on a desk, tied up with twine.  I picked them up, checked out the price, and to my surprise $4.00 for both!  I had $5.00 in my pocket!  I bought those books that day…my first “antique” purchase.  Those books dated back to 1913, and I have decorated with them in every home I’ve lived in since.  Some years have passed, but my love for vintage books has never changed.  Fast forward a few years later…to a friendship with someone who loves vintage books (and vintage everything else) as much as I do.  Lindsay and I have hoarded these books below for the past year.  Lol, we cant stop!!!  🙂


Part of our reason for starting this blog was to offer ideas on how to decorate and re-purpose with vintage items in your home, without breaking the bank!  In this post we will show you how to decorate with old books to add character and charm to your space.  The colors and textures of a vintage book can’t be beat.  Check out the patterns on these vintage Reader’s Digest books.  A favorite to decorate with in our homes!


You can hang one of these books on the wall to showcase its pattern and to add visual charm to a room.


You also can stack a few to give height to an item (like this globe in the background).



Last year we hosted a Fall trunk show and these books (turned letters) were some of our biggest sellers.  The real reason for the book hoarding up top! 🙂


Lindsay and I collect books at yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, antique stores, and even in our grandparents homes.  Lindsay loves to read.  Her home is filled with books.  She always knows a good book to recommend if anyone asks.  I love borrowing books from her  because she screens them for me and only recommends the good ones! 🙂  How cute is her setup below!


It doesn’t get much better than an old crate, add a few vintage books and a vignette will really come together!  A book can add height to any display, and also help when decorating in 3’s.  Odd numbers almost always look best when grouping and decorating.  Notice the plant, book and bird on top of the crate.


When decorating with even numbers like these 4 mugs… Use a couple of books to give some height.  This will break up the vignette and add visual interest to your space.



A current trend in decorating is to turn your books around so that the pages face out.  It works great in neutral spaces if you don’t want too many spine colors competing with your decor!  Lindsay’s chicken feeder is a sweet spot to display a collection of vintage books.


When we acquire old books, we like to imagine who they belonged to in the past…


It’s fun to imaging who was the previous owner of this darling little dictionary?!  It was rescued from a yard sale this summer and will be cherished in this house.  Even better, is when you find writing or a name inscribed inside the copy… That penmanship is a lost art.


Books are perfect for propping up other vintage items like this camera.  They pair perfectly together on this mantle!


Classics are fun to display around the house.


Grouping by a monochromatic color scheme is another way to start a book collection.  These blues are all different but pair nicely together!

The best part about decorating with vintage books is that you can find them for next to nothing as far as cost goes.  Lots of times we find them for under a few dollars and most of the time at yard sales for .50 cents!  So, go ahead and rescue some old books and add some character to your space.

We have teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers for a fun blog hop! Grab a cup of coffee and head on over and say hi to our friends.


Coffee Paint Repeat

An Inspired Nest

Little Home Reloved

My Sunset Avenue

Honey N Hydrangea

Indigo & Honey

A Blue Nest

The Belmont Ranch

Birdie Farm



Jolene and Lindsay

2 Responses to Decorating with Vintage Books

  1. Lucy September 26, 2016 at 2:04 pm #


  2. Heidi @cloverlycottage September 27, 2016 at 2:13 am #

    I love the story you shared about that first vintage purchase!!! I love the collected feel that books give a space and those Readers Digest books are some of my favorites too 😊

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