Saturday, March 12, 2011

We Love Old Books!

And, we love bookstores. In our family, they've always been a major destination for us. Our boys grew up going to author's signings, and in Los Angeles, we would hang out at our friend Julie Von Zerneck's Portrait of a Bookstore for hours. My husband David has always bought books on the street in NYC, and has a pretty amazing collection. He has an early paperback copy of the Sun Also Rises, called Fiesta. I've been collecting vintage children's books. Yesterday we were at a local used bookstore where we always find a treat. I got the Burgess Bird Book For Children, which is in perfect condition, and it was published in 1927. At this shop, the older the book, the cheaper it is. This beauty was only $7.50. Of course, you can get any book on ebay, but there's something special about picking through the stacks at an old bookstore, a library sale, or a flea market.  At one time I worked at a middle school, and the librarian had carts full of young adult books that she was "deleting". Some of them were incredibly collectible, with stunning artwork on the covers. One was an edition of Black Beauty, my favorite childhood book, that must have been from the turn of the doesn't even have a date on it. Another was a Robert Heinlein book from 1951, called The Rolling Stones, in fabulous, mid century condition. There's something so innocent about the way these old children's books are written, and of course, the illustrations and design are just to die for. We have one room in our house that's a library, but it seems like every other room has shelves or just plain piles of books. Can you have too many? We're debating that question constantly. I think my favorite things are old comfortable chairs, books, flea market treasures, and of course, a great cup of coffee. Put all those things together, and you have a perfect environment, don't you think? Our friend Julie in LA has just that. Portrait of a Bookstore on Tujunga in North Hollywood is connected to the Aroma Cafe, and she has great books, fabulous antique finds, and even a terrace outside to enjoy it all. It's a winning combination!