Friday, April 4, 2014

Using Old Books In Your Decor

Hi, y'all! As I was dusting my house the other day, I realized I use a lot of books in my decor. I think a lot of you probably do the same. Most of the books I use were purchased at my local library for .25 cents to $1. My library has a little room where they display all the books for sale. I think most of them are donated and you really can't beat those prices. :)

I hate to admit it, but I don't think I've read a single one I've purchased...I usually go in there looking for a specific color hardback. :) My hubby was trying to be helpful once and kept showing me books I might like, but they were all the wrong colors. I finally had to whisper to him (so the library worker wouldn't hear me) that I was choosing books to use solely for decorating purposes and they had to be the right color. Lol!

I mostly use books to add height to certain objects. They're great for creating different "levels" for your vignettes. 

Sometimes if you're lucky, you'll come across a book with a personal message written it it, someone's signature, or little hand written notes. Those are my favorites! I actually have a few that have special things in them that I found and I'll show you those in a minute. :)

Okay, let's start the tour of my "decor books" shall we?

Below is a little vignette I have displayed on the coffee table in my living room. As you can see, I used a few books to add a little height to that gold candle holder. I love having different finishes and textures grouped together. 

At first I just had this mercury glass candle holder flat on the table top, but I liked it much better once I elevated it a little bit. 

Here's a little grouping on a table in my dining room. I propped one of my favorite quotes on that little red book. 

Here's a closer look. That's a quote from the Anne of Green Gables books by the way. :) 

I really like the worn books. I think it gives them a little more character. 

Here's what's inside that book above. "Bert Barber's book store, Fort Worth." 

Sorry about the grainy iPhone pics...I'm still waiting on my new camera. Below is one of my favorites books. I think it was about .50 cents. 

Here's a close up of the front. I love the little illustration. 

Here's another frame being elevated with a book. 

This one is a perfect example of what I love to find in these books...

Looks what's right inside the front cover!

I love all the scribbles and would you look at what it says..."Property of Blairsville Public Schools Jan 9, 1911" !!

When I recently did a Makeover On My Master Bedroom, I added a little blue to the decor in there. Luckily I had these books with a blue hardcover that I could finally use. 

This is my little sitting area in the master. Those flowers didn't seem tall enough, so I set them on top of a book to add a little height. 

Here's a closer look.

Look what's inside this book...

central high school book 1930's

Would you look at those names and dates?? That's the 1930's, people!! How neat is that? 

Here's a close up of the inside cover with the "Central High School" stamp.

These books are on top of the armoire in my bedroom.

Now, these two books below were actually purchased at Barnes and Noble and I can say that I've read most of these. :) 

Now we're in the master bathroom. I love this little tray I picked up at Walmart for $5 a few years ago. It's part of their Better Homes and Garden's collection. That green book just added a little interest to it, I think. 

Here's a close up of the spine...

And here's what's written on the inside...

I love seeing all the dates!

This is a little table in the alcove by the master. This book is extra special because my great grandmother illustrated it. :)

Here's my kitchen tray. The book not only adds height, but also helps to disguise the lamp cord. :)

Here's another book on the bombe chest in the living room.

And one more in the living room.

So, what about y'all? Do you like using books in your decor? 

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. You have a great collection of lucky to find them in colors that match your décor too! I have a lot of books and like you some of them are used to add height and etc. However I also collect old school books. I actually started the collection before we bought our schoolhouse and I think I have about twenty now. Some have writing and scribbles which makes them so much fun.....I love seeing all the names written in them :o) Have a great weekend!!

  2. I love to use books in my vignettes, but haven't found any as old as the ones you have -- such treasures!

  3. I love finding books to decorate with too. I have a few old leather books that I display in my secretary. Sounds like you have a great source for cheap books! I do like the look of elevating accessories on top of them.

  4. I love your old books, Lisa. I have always used them in decorating and love the height an interest they add to a setting. AND I love books just because they are books, too! You have some really great old ones!!!! xo Diana

  5. I never thought of using books to elevate pieces...that's a great idea. Whenever I see old books at shops, I think of those that tear the covers off to make bundles. Somehow that got popular years ago. I just saw a bunch of old books at an antique store last week and it didn't occur to me to buy any! I have to go back.

    One thing I did want to pass on...when we first moved to the lake over 20 years ago, there was an estate sale of an old woman who had been an English teacher. She had a lot of old history books and hubby loved that so we bought the whole carton for X dollars. Included were a lot of school ledgers and library books and even some of her instructional books from the 1800's. I displayed them on 2 shelves in the living room for awhile when I was super into antiques. Since then...I have no idea what we did with them! And they were OLD! :)


  6. I love old and new books for decorating. For years I've used them to elevate things on the table. Don't remember how I learned that but it sure works. Any time a vignette looks like it needs a little something I grab a book. :)

  7. You have some neat books! I love the writing in them too. That's funny about buying them by color. I completely understand. :)
    Visiting from Amaze Me Monday.
    Have a great day.

  8. I love old books....they are so familiar and such treasures. And how neat when they have writing inside. I use old books in all of my decor, too. Love the Children of the Swamp....makes you want to read that one. Maybe it's about Florida! heehee! Hugs!

  9. I love books, too. However, I have very few as wonderful as your treasures.

  10. Hi Lisa, It's good to know I'm not the only one who buys books by color for decorating purposes! Or sometimes if they just have a pretty color or spine! I work books, covers, and spines into all kinds of décor. Have you seen the book spine Christmas tree out there in bloggieland? So much fun to be had when decorating with books!!! Hugs, Catherine (newest follower of all your blogging adventures!!) :)

    1. Hi Catherine! I just love old books. The older, the better. :) I haven't seen the book spine Christmas tree, but I'm going to google it now. Sounds neat! Thanks for visiting and hope you have a wonderful week!

  11. A girl after my own heart. I buy books for the same reason, by color and to decorate. haha. I love it. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  12. I love using books too!! Although, I've never gotten my hands on old and character filled one's like yours!! Those are so cool! Love the dates! One thing I noticed was the great penmanship high schooler's had back then! I don't think I've seen a teenager write like that in a looooong time, myself included LOL!

  13. Love all your ideas for decorating with books! I buy mine at the library, too!

    Happy day to you friend!

  14. Hi to your blog! I was wondering if you remember when and where you found that adorable little round table you showed. I need one similar to that.....I use books also. I have my LR lamp on old hymnals that were my mom's!!

  15. What a nice collection of old books you have! Fun to see the insides of some of them : )

    1. Thanks, Deb! I just love when I come across a personal little note in them. :)

  16. Ceekay again. Just thought I would tell you that I found the little table at my Kirklands! I am a happy girl! Remember....copying is the greatest form of flattery!!

  17. I read a lot of books, but after reading this post, I'm thinking I need to start picking up more of those I know I probably won't read--at yard sales, etc.--for decor! Found you at Imparting Grace.

    1. Hi Heather! I bet you could find some good ones at yard sales. I use them in my decor all the time. Now that spring is here, there should be lots of yard sales going on. :) Thanks for visiting!

  18. Me too! Love old books, especially for adding height on table and shelving. Fun too is finding all the notes and dates written inside. Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday...

  19. I for one use it a lot too Lisa, From the old boung Reader's digest to some other ones that are cloth-bound, they are everywhere in my home. Love your little collection dear!

  20. The old books you used look great! I have a small collection myself. I'm a sucker for old books...

    1. Thanks! There's just something special about old, worn books. :) I love to decorate with them. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. I love old books and use them quite a lot for décor...
    The reason I am commenting though, involves the inscription in one of your old books above. South Glastonbury, CT., is the next town or so over from where I used to live. Too funny, and then we ALL wound up in Texas!! Just goes to show that even those of us who are NOT from Texas, got here as fast as we could :^)
    Blessings to you,


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