Old Books on New Electronic Readers

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I’m a big fan of Old Books, both reading them as well as simply looking at them. By “old” I mean anything written before World War I.

I drool over old, leather-bound books. In this article we’ll take a look at some classic home libraries filled with beautiful books, and then look at some things we could buy for ourselves to have the old book feel while enjoying modern convenience.

Old Books Make a Movie

Some of my favorite scenes in the movie “Hugo” were the ones in the bookstore and library.

Screencap from the movie "Hugo", showing the bookstore

Screencap from the movie “Hugo”, showing the bookstore where Isabelle borrows (not buys) books.

Books, books everywhere. Floor to ceiling books. All them gorgeous, leather-bound beauties!

Screencap from the movie "Hugo", showing Asa looking for a book in the library

Screencap from the movie “Hugo”, showing Hugo looking for a book in the library

I very much doubt the movie would feel complete without these gorgeous “book scenes”.

The Charm of Rows of Old Books

The American novelist Edith Wharton, known for the novel The Age of Innocence, built a lovely mansion called The Mount in Massachusetts. It’s a beautiful place, a showcase of Wharton’s love for interior decor and books.

Library at The Mount. Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest.

Wharton, herself a keen decorator and author of home decorating books, made sure to make her library not just a place where one could curl up in comfort, but also a space where the books take center stage. The built-in bookshelves with ornate carvings show off the book collection. I could stay here all day!

A Victorian-sytle room

A Victorian-sytle room. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Above is a photo of a relatively modest Victorian-style sitting room, taken in the early 20th century. While there are no built-in bookshelves, the free-standing book case is ornately carved, with a small row of beautiful, leather-bound books. Imagine this room without this piece of furniture. The shelf and books add so much character to the space!

Books for Storage

For those of us who now mostly read old books on digital readers like the Kindle and iBooks, we could still indulge in the feel of old books by surrounding ourselves with…faux book boxes!

These lovely yet practical home accessories keep trinkets and other knick-knacks neatly organized by type or usage. Because they act as storage, there is absolutely no waste of shelf space.

I would love a stack of these on my desk!

Turn Your Kindle into an Old Book

Next we’ll take a look at some Kindle and iPad cases. I designed these to have that Old Book feel, totally customizable to show off your favorite books and quotes from your beloved authors.

Here is an old, worn-out, vintage book cover, with a Polaroid frame clipped on top and a vintage paper tag. The sample photo is a portrait of the American novelist Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), known for the novel Little Women ( Y’all know how much I love Alcott’s Little Women!). The quote at the back is also by her. Replace the photo and quote with your favorite author’s. Add your initials to the paper tag to make this item uniquely your own.

In the example above we have a portrait of the French writer Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), well-known for the novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The quote at the back is also by him.

This one above is an iPad case. Vintage postcards of Paris decorate the cover of an old blue book. The sample photo is a portrait of the French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), of Les Miserables fame. There is a space for your favorite quote at the back. An iPad Mini case and Kindle case are also available for this design.

Finally, here’s an old, worn-out, red and gold vintage book cover, with an embossed, painted metallic frame. Ornate decorative gold brads and a paper tag printed with birds and flowers decorate the covers. The sample photo is a portrait of the English novelist Emily Bronte (1818-1848), best known for the novel Wuthering Heights. Feel free to replace the photo as well as the quote on the back with your favorite poet’s!

Timeless Classics and High Tech

These designs also looks great with vintage-filtered photos of your favorite places from your travels, or even just the good ol’ neighborhood. As I wrote in the map article, it’s now so easy—what with all the free photo editing tools available—to make any photo look “old” and vintage-like.

Kindle and iPad cases with an old book look, designed by Beverly Claire Designs

Since many classic, “Must Read” books are now available for free download on your electronic reader of choice, I think it’s wonderful to contrast the sleek, high technology of these digital devices with the charm and warmth of old books.

I hope you have fun customizing! These items make wonderful gifts for the book lover or bibliophile in your life.

You just finished reading Old Books on New Electronic Readers. Please consider leaving a comment! This post is from the interior furnishings website, Beverly Claire Interiors. If you are not currently reading this via interiors.beverlyclaire.com, then this post may have been stolen or scraped from the Beverly Claire Interiors site. Republishing this article in full or in part is a violation of Copyright Law (c)2010-2014, All rights reserved.


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One Comment

  1. slf says:

    Hmm, I think I’d put the Inklings with Lewis and Tolkien most prominent.

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