Hunting for vintage books


“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get the people to stop reading them.”

Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451


This months shopping trip involves books. Old ones at that. I just love old books, even the smell of them. Like a fragrance from back in time.

Shopping for actual books seems to be harder to do now days. Everything is online. I will always love the experience of walking into a bookstore and picking up a book with my hands, turning each page, anticipating the surprises those pages will show me.But doesn’t it seem  like book stores are on the endangered species list?


I remember back in the 90’s how they were everywhere. I mean everywhere. And now they seem  to only be in the posh areas. I am not British but my husband has some family that live over in England and I love their accents and slang words when they visit. Posh is such a fun word to use.


American English and British are a whole different way of speaking.That summer in Italy I learned a lot of new words and not just English slang either. Lorry was a truck and the Loo was a bathroom . Oh and potato chips were crisps and chips were french fries. One time while heading outside at night at the aunt’s villa I was told to grab a torch on the way out.

Uh oh, here we go again. I was trying so hard not to look so lost around my husband’s family. I felt like I was in another world when around them. I started missing my home country.

Did she mean a torch, like a stick lit on fire, was she serious? Europe was so strange I thought to myself.

It was my husband who rescued me during awkward moments of language mix ups. He turned to me and gave me the sweetest look while I stood staring back at everyone like a lost little bird and with the tiniest smile, so as not to make me feel uncomfortable he explained what a torch was.

That was a funny summer. I was only 19 or 20 years old so I was still pretty young to the world. My husband was only a year older then me but he knew Italy, it was where his mom was from, his father was American and a pilot in the military. My husband’s first language was Italian, he spoke that before English.

My first trip to Europe with my husband will always be the one we both talk about the most. I was so new to everything even the bathroom situations over there.At a rest stop visit on our way to Lake Como, I would have another life lesson on the differences around the world. When I came out of the rest stop’s bathroom I was white. Turning to my husband I told him that the bathroom  he sent me to wasn’t even finished yet.

I was too American, I had  gotten used to my countries conveniences a little too much. This is why all young adults should travel to other countries. Doing so connects them  to other young adults and keeps us all humble and grounded.

“Why, whats wrong with that bathroom?” my husband asked.

“Well, it’s a hole with feet marks on the side, just a big hole…no toilet” I answered back

He just bent over laughing and laughing.

“Oh and there is a lady in the corner with a dish and coins in it, am I suppose to pay her something and what coin does she want?” I was so confused with it all. I had never traveled outside the country before. In our bathrooms  in America there are never places to leave tips for the ones who clean them. Maybe that’s something we should work on.

Once we got to Lake Como it was another lesson on just how American I was when I saw that most of the women were topless on the beach. Turning to my husband I whispered “Is this a nudist beach?”

“No…this is beautiful Italy” he whispered back holding back another giant laugh. Meanwhile his uncle was standing near a beautiful topless girl acting like he was busy checking out his shoes beneath those really dark sunglasses of his.

“WHAT!…wait…what do you mean this is Italy”I looked around at topless girls all around me hoping that my husband’s female family members did not also go topless to the beaches. When in Rome as they say.

My husband just shook his head and turning back to look at me laughing again said “This is going to be one of my favorite trips, I can already tell” and he was right.

If you ever want to have some extra fun take along someone to travel with you, who has never been on a plane, has never eaten foreign foods before and the closes thing they ever took as a vacation was when their father hooked up a tiny trailer to the back of his baby blue truck to take to a lake and camp at. Oh and Disneyland and the beach.

Yeah, if you guys want some real entertainment, take someone like that with you and you will discover and see things through their eyes all over again, having the time of your life laughing together.

The both of  us had  so much fun at my discoveries of walking on cobble stone streets, eating rose petal Gelato  in the rain, real Italian pizzas, and these little annoying cars that had  three wheels that you could pile a whole house on the top of . That is if you were really good at tying things down.

I love the passion the Italian people have for life, like everyday should be treated as a gift and to live it well. That really gave me knowledge to what was and is important in life. So much love and just the celebration of life in them all.


I left that country a different person when I finally got back to my home in America. I wish every young adult could travel the world at least once in their life, they will gain a confidence and understanding that we are all… the same human being.

Another thing I learned while in a foreign country was what my father must have felt like to have gone through life never being able to read.

When I stepped off that plane trip to Italy to meet my husband.s family I remember looking around at all the signs and store ads and a fear struck me. I did not know what anything said. Picking up a magazine at a stand, my eyes really huge with fear, my husband asked me what was wrong and I answered back “ I don’t know what this says”.

He probably thought that my fear came from my ignorance of not being able to read the Italian language but that wasn’t it at all. It was the knowledge of how my father must have felt when he couldn’t read something. It was then that I finally felt what it was like for my father and my heart just sank for him.

All those wonderful adventures and stories to read and he was never able to do that his whole life.

I have an appreciation of books even more after that first visit to Europe.There were the occasional British magazines in some of the tourist spots but the little towns didn’t have any English language books or magazines.

I was starving for a book at the end of that trip. After that, I would travel to Italy 5 more times to visit family. And Yes, I brought a suitcase full of reading material for those trips. It was heavy but I did not care. I need my adventures and reading takes you away to those places of unknown. No way was I going a whole month without a good story.

I am sure a lot has changed since then and with online shopping you can get just about anything anywhere now.

You learn to really love the things you loose. Now when I pick up a book I think how wonderful it is to be able to get lost in that story it has to tell. I turn the pages and start reading away. Who doesn’t look forward to a good book now and then.

So today I thought it would be fun to share with you all a couple places my family likes to pick up books to read. Once in awhile my husband and I will make a book run either to the huge city library down town or to the many used book stores and second hand shops in our city. Hope you all have fun coming along with us on this shopping adventure.


First stop is a used/new bookstore where you can  take in gently used items of yours to trade for books or other items in the store.


The Nikon camera I use for this blog site was  a trade from the store. The camera didn’t cost us any out of pocket money. We just took our clutter and turned it into a camera that year.


I could spend hours in this store.

Another place is any thrift store.


The prices at second hand shops always shock me when it comes to books. Some of these books look like they have never been opened and read.


I saw this book at Ikea last month for $6 or was it $7…now I can’t remember. I ended up buying this for $1.49.


This is nice, but I already have enough home books. I am such a homebody. I rather stay home watching an old classic movie, working on art, or hanging out in the garden swimming.


Another good place to shop for books is the library. There is usually a little corner tucked away somewhere where people drop off donations or the library marks down their damaged and used books to sale.


They have a little metal box to drop your money into.Everything is pretty cheap.


Then there is the main library down town. It has five stories. It ‘s one of my favorite places to visit. I will have to do a more detailed post on that one later.


The main library also has a little bookstore on the bottom floor where you can buy new and used items.


They tend to be a little more pricey though. All magazines at our little neighborhood library are .10 cents each. The magazines downtown in the city run from .50 cents to $3. The two libraries are only miles apart. Everything always costs more in the middle of the city.


Then there are these little handmade houses in neighborhoods around our city. This little neighborhood library comes with a chalk board on the side and a mason jar full of chalk.


You drop off books and pick up any you want to read.


It’s a nice way for neighbors to connect with one another by sharing with each other.

And my favorite place to pick up books is at church rummage sales.


The Catholic church has a really nice rummage sale once a year. I love this event (another shopping post to share with you all next month)

They always have a huge selection of vintage books.

Vintage workbooks and coloring books are another one of my favorite things to find.. I used to make copies and pass out vintage coloring and activities pages to the kids who attended my craft classes.


Sometime I will come across a book that has been loved too much. There will be pages missing or someone decided to add their own art to it. With books like that you can always use the left over pages for DIY projects.

Happy vintage book shopping everyone..


For some more posts on books check out these fellow bloggers.


Cristian Mihai-Outdoor reading libraries and bookstores that operate in the open air

This was such a great post to read.

Books on a sandy beach.

In a tiny park in Germany.

And my favorite was the one outdoors in Leiden, South Holland.


Bee humble with me is back online, took a break there for awhile. Anyway, she shares with us all what her summer reading list is this year. She picked some good ones.



“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” Dr.Suess

28 Comments Add yours

  1. I have never been anywhere 🙂 I worked too many jobs when I was young just to be able to eat and house myself. Then when me and the hubby got married he was deployed half of our marriage. He always said when he retired we would go to all the places in the world that he had been. He retired this year. I am 50 but I hope to one day see it all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy my husband and I traveled when we were young because now we are in our 50’s and things start hurting in the bones. We have rebuilt a few houses in that time and we just feel beat, so happy we were blessed to do it when we had the energy to do it. I loved traveling to Belize but the city was a little scary because we had our cameras on us and the sheriff in the city came up to us and told us to hide our cameras when he saw us walking into a neighborhood to get back to our hotel. We walked around everywhere, even the bad areas. We were a little naive when young I guess. We kept wondering why every time we headed into a store there were security guards in every isle. When we got to the travel agency we had to knock on the glass doors before they would unlock and the sign said opened. As soon as they let us in they locked the door behind us and looked outside. My husband and I looked at each other trying to figure out what everyone was so afraid of. At the hotel we stayed at which was the nicest one in the city, they had guards walking around with huge guns, they looked like machine guns. I remember my husband and I grabbing our cameras and walking out of the hotel area with all the safety and guards, with a map in my hand, I told my husband I wanted to explore the city and away we went on foot…we were either brave or not so smart. We walked for miles and I saw some really sad conditions in some of the poorer areas.Nothing bad ever happened to us. Thank God. I hope you and your husband get to travel too, it is such a beautiful world we all live in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hubby always sent me pictures of the places he was blessed to go to. He has been all over the world 🙂 But somebody had to stay home and take care of things hehehe 🙂 LORD willing we will get to travel. I agree it would have been nice to do it when we were younger. I feel we, especially him, will be more “careful” as to where we go because, well he has already been. If that makes sense. I’d love to just do like you and your hubby did, go and explore. Unfiltered, unedited if that makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know you will love it, wherever you go. When you have love ones with you that makes it even better. Plus you meet new people and realize that everyone is the same person. I would travel in groups now if I were to go out because it does seem that Americans are not the most loved in some areas. We are targets for sure. But then, we can be targets even in our own country, so I guess it doesn’t matter. I love meeting people from other countries, they are just as curious as we are of them and their country. I wish we could just go out and walk the streets like we did when we were younger but that was late 80’s/early 90’s. I don’t know now. We go on a lot of road trips now and stick with the things we have not seen in this country.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. simplywendi says:

    So enjoy reading this post! I absolutely love shopping for books too………….such a pleasure to hold and book and think about all the wonderful ideas that will be found between the covers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and I know, it is so fun. I wish I had more time to read. It is such a peaceful thing to do. I get excited when I open a book I have never seen before. It is hard to leave bookstores.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. simplywendi says:

        I completely agree! I love to surround myself with books and I also wish I had more time to read and felt well enough to read more, but when i can read, it makes me very happy! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope you have many days of feeling better so you can read to your hearts content. Have a happy weekend of reading.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. simplywendi says:

        🙂 awwww……….thank you so very much!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. mel says:

    Love to see Vintage illustration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My favorites are children’s books and little golden books.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ruthsoaper says:

    A most enjoyable read. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…thank you so much. I am glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a lovely read. We’re hoping that life will soon slow down a bit and allow us some time for reading. There is nothing that quiets and calms the soul quite like reading. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome, and I hope things slow down too for you all. You can take a good book with you anywhere. You and your family have a great weekend and Happy 4th of July.


  6. Michelle says:

    I’ve never been on a plane and have only been to 3 states, all close by. I wouldn’t know how to behave in a different country! Your story made me smile because I’d be the same way! I love shopping for old books. I was lucky enough a few years ago to come across two old books from the 1930’s. One of them was an arithmetic book and had writing in it. The other was literature and had notes and poems written in it. The handwriting is so pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband took me on my first plane trip. In my family growing up everyone was afraid of them so we never traveled that way. Sometimes my dad would work in other states and we would all move. We lived in North Dakota and Texas but we never flew there, my dad would drive to these places. He was so afraid of planes that he wouldn’t even allow my sister and I on them. I had an aunt in Ireland that was going to send a ticket over for me to visit her and my cousins when I was 15 but my mother and father said “No way”. I bet those books of yours are really unique. I love looking at the illustrations and decor from vintage books. A little bit of history is always fun to check out.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. krc says:

    i could spend all day there too

    true, some thrift or vintage shops are found only in posh areas

    ive noticed that to be the case when i lived in california before

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes when I am out antiquing or junking as I call it, I forget I am in my paint clothes and I look a mess. Old jeans with different colors of paint on them and a stained t’shirt. I might be in the middle of something and not change when we head to the hardware store for building supplies and people in nicer areas will sneer. Have you ever noticed that? I grew up in a poor area and I always felt uncomfortable when I shopped in Scottsdale, they are incredibly snobby there. I had a friend who tried to run a retail boutique shop in Scottsdale and she ended up having to close it. The women that would come in always tried to talk down her prices like it was a yard sale and not a regular retail store. They also never bought any of the handbags she sold because they weren’t name brands. Sometimes the store was closed and they would expect her to open just for them (which she did) and they would just walk around having her show them items and then never buy anything. I always felt bad for her because having that store and business was a dream for her and in the end she had to close shop and move back with her parents in another state. At least she went for it. I used to help her out with window displays and merchandising. Those posh areas are fun to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. I like my simple life and broken things I fix up now and then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. krc says:

        i finally bought me a new t-shirt when i realized that i only had 1 shirt without paint, bleach, or grads stains on it.

        yes, it is very hard to have a business.
        i had closed one in the past as well.

        thrift store m, flea market, or yard sale finds are always fun and treasured.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did that as well. I went out to get some nice new and clean t’shirts, then I accidentally forgot one day to change and ruined another shirt with paint.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I really, really. enjoyed this blog! I could visit book stores all day long! And the library is my favorite place too! But I’m sure you know that. I read on the Kindle app once in a while I’ve tried but I love the feel of an actual book! They have those little houses that are libraries my church has one out front and I borrowed a really good book from it. The lady had been a librarian for years lost her job she bought an old beat up van and created her own bookmobile library on wheels and owned her own mobile book store! Now that’s a big library I’m looking forward to that library post. I love book stores! I need to invest in a camera for my blog there expensive though. The stories about your visit to Italy were so funny! My first thought this is going to be good! I’ve always wanted to read there. I feel at times I don’t write well or can’t think of things at times to write about. I guess I need to conquer my fear and just write away! Have a great night going off to read other posts here and others! Honestly, I don’t get out a lot of errands, shopping, etc. I really am a homebody, my dear! Have a great evening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, I am a big homebody. I hope you find a good camera at a good price too. I love taking photos and making things. Don’t worry about your writing, they have apps to correct mistakes. My daughter helps me with mine and believe me I make a ton. Just listen to what your heart says and write away. Sit on it for awhile and go back and reread and correct as much as possible or have someone else read it for you. If I am in a big hurry I make tons of mistakes. My letters are all mixed up as well, but my daughter usually finds the mistakes when I reverse things. So just do the things that make you happy. Have a great week and Thank you for the sweet comments. I am glad you enjoyed it.


      1. I’m always looking at and admiring cameras there expensive I have an older digital my father mailed me a couple years ago I guess it would work but hopefully one day cameras have come a long way that’s for sure. I’ve always loved photography thank you for the kind words. I’m always thinkign about stuff to write about I keep a clip board close to jot down notes if need be. My sons in the hospital right now mental health I’m hoping he’ll be home soon. Please keep him in your prayers he’s just had bad anxiety and been depressed. All we have is each other and God and he hasn’t let me down yet God that is! Have a great week dear!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I will keep you both in my prayers. I have a lot of young family members that are going through anxiety and depression right now. I blame social media and the pressure to keep up with it all. People can’t just “be” anymore, they have to “Be something” instead. Also I think the news is evil, just horrible. There are so many lies out there it is hard to keep up. Stay off social media as much as possible and try not to watch the news. Maybe now and then local news or little clips on YouTube about what is really going on out in the world by real people.


  9. I’m so with you on old books!! I love the smell and the texture of the pages and they are getting harder and harder to find. All the second hand book stores are closing because people read online. Looks like you found some great books and great deals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, that is so sad that bookstores are closing. Here in Phoenix every year they have a huge book sale at the fair grounds. It is gigantic. I missed it this year, maybe next year I will be able to check it out. People lined up and wait a long time to be the first ones in. People are still out there buying books.


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