For the love of vintage books

My fascination with all things vintage started with my love for reading.

I’ve always been a book worm – as a child I hid in the attic so I could finish those last few Judy Blume pages before dinner. As a teenager, I was all too happy to be sent to my room to “think about what I had done” while flipping through a Danielle Steele romance novel. And as a grown up, I discarded the idea of downloading a book onto Kindle for the comfort of turning pages. So, during a trip to London years ago, a friend of mine took me down Charing Cross Road, famously lined with old bookstores – and full of vintage books.

vintage books

I stopped in my tracks at the doorway of Murder One, which specialized in hard-to-find and collectible crime and mystery genres. As I stepped inside, I had the strangest urge to open the well tattered and worn books to smell the pages. Yes, smell the pages. And I smiled.

From there on out, instead of collecting t-shirts with city slogans when I traveled, I searched for musty old books. In London, it was vintage pin-up styled mystery magazines. In San Francisco, it was an old copy of The Secret Garden found at a flea market. In New York, it was a stop in the Strand Bookstore where I was surrounded by so many choices of new and used books I thought my brain might explode trying to choose just one.

My admiration and curiosity with old and unique things started to grow, but so did my search to answer those questions. So, my fellow newbies, this first post and the following tips are for all you freaky, page sniffing book lovers out there.

How to find vintage books and what they’re worth

  • Search Ebay for ‘old books,’ ‘vintage books,’ or ‘rare books’
  • Go to Etsy’s online marketplace and filter by ‘Books’ and ‘Vintage’
  • Avoid shipping costs by scouring garage/library sales, thrift stores and antique malls
  • Type “Find used bookstore near me” into Yelp or Google
  • Half Price Books has a ‘Rare & Collectible” section in stores and online
  • Determine the value of a book with one of Ebay’s buying guides, including this one

Book lover’s unite! If you’re out there and have helpful hints to share, I hope to hear from you.

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