Saturday 19 November 2011

Vintage books: Old World and New World Fairy Tales

Hi, hi, hi.

I'm not here, [well, obviously I was here when I wrote this ... you're not imagining it.] but I'm not in my usual blogging spot right now, I'm in a cottage, crafting like a crazy person with 7 other equally-as-craftily-crazy friends.

As I'm away I thought I'd schedule this post to keep things ticking-over here until I get back - like how you're supposed to leave the heating on a tiny bit when you go away in the winter, so the water pipes don't freeze-up. So just consider this post me keeping my pipes warm ...

... moving swiftly on ...

When I was designing the labelling for my 'Plundered Pages' vintage paper packs, I came up with the tagline:
"I cut up the books ... so you don't have to."

Which I thought said everythign there was to say and which might strike a nerve because, really ... who likes cutting into books?

I know I don't!

But I bravely pick up my craft knife so that old, neglected books can enjoy a new lease of life with their lovely purchaser ... and so the lovely purchase doesn't have to feel sick doing it themselves!

[I know ... you're impresed at the levels of self-sacrifice I put into my business now aren't you? ;-) ]

However, while I do manage to cut up the majority of the books I gather-in ... there are others I collect which live in safety on the 'Keep away from the scissors' shelf.

The occasional ones which pluck at the strings of my hard book-slashing heart. The ones that cry out: "Please ... don't cut me ... if you loved me you'd keep me away from sharp implements". The ones I thought I might start sharing here with you from time to time.

Starting with this:

Amazing. In my eyes at least.

My reasons for keeping some and not others in tact rarely has anything to do with what they cost to buy. This one was £1:00 from a table-top sale a few summers back but the colours and illustrations are worth far more than £1:00 to me:

Their value to me comes in their content.

When I find a beautiful book like this amongst the mass-produced novels and tacky modern kids' books on a stall or on a charity shop shelf ...
  • my heart skips a beat;
  • I begin to feel warm;
  • my eyes glaze-over somewhat;
  • and my grip on my 'treasure' tightens in case someone else notices its gloriousness and tries to buy it first!
[If you need a clearer image, James likens my response to that of a drug-addict snorting a controlled substance ... so .. yeah ... like that.]

And then, while I'm at the till paying for my amazing discovery, I even get the feeling I've done something illicit. That I'm going to be found out. That I'm getting away with robbery paying so little for something that makes me that excited.

All of which, I suppose, means I'm in the right hobby for me!

I just don't know where else I could get such quality artwork, such character, such unique items for such a low price. And the rareity of the finds makes them all the more precious ... and narcotic to me.

My name's Julie ...

... and I'm a vintage book addict.

Julie  ;-)

p.s: I'm also a Plundered Pages pusher. The full range is here and I'm happy to create bespoke packs based on any theme / combination of themes you'd like. [NB. any orders placed now will be posted out on Tuesday 22nd November because, like I said ... I'm not here ...]


  1. Oh, how I can relate to your addiction!!! (especially with illustrated children books it seems)

  2. Me too!!! I love old books and have them safely on shelves. I love the feeling of finding treasure in charity shops etc and bringing them home. Love your paper packs too. Any Christmas ones?

  3. I had a set of two just like this when I was little. They are still around somewhere. Thank you for reminding me :0)
    Have a great weekend away x

  4. Hiiiiii Julie... I'm an addict too. Someone needs to start a group!

  5. Can I join? My heart missed a beat when I saw that first illustration. I think that means I'm in!

  6. I'm most certainly a book addict and I have a little love affair with vintage craft books! I love the retro patterns :)

  7. Just to update and say we did a little walk to our local charity shops this morning and i got FIVE childrens illustrated books of the old fashioned kind! I may post some of the pics on my blog!!

  8. I think you know what I'm going to say. I love them all, Big ones, small ones, fat ones, thin ones..

    I'm just glad I don't have to cut them up - yours is the perfect service for me :)

  9. You describe it so perfectly, I to am afflicted by this condition. It's especially bad if you have the kids with you and the vendor says "ahhhh, has Mummy bought this for you?" which is swiftly responded to by a barely withheld bellow of "NO!"

  10. Ha! You and me both. I'm happy to admit I have books that I cannot bear to cut up either and even the ones I do I have to take a deep breath before that first page is ripped out.

  11. Oh, me too! My friend took me to an amazing thing a couple of weekends ago, a Fine and Rare Books Fair, where I picked up an old book of translations and poems with the most beautiful wood engravings that is worth very much more than I paid to me.

  12. Ahh ... I see I'm in good company!

    Annie - re: the paper packs - yes, there's a large Winter + Christmas one here: and I'm working on a small one at the moment too. Thanks for asking :-)

  13. The book looks fabulous. And I have the exact same reaction to books. I clasp them to my chest in case the person selling them suddenly changes their mind!

    I keep buying them and not cutting them up though. I've been drooling over the plundered pages packs - I'm hoping you'll still have some after Christmas when I have present money to spend!


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