We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sepia Saturday #187 What To Do With Your Old Books

On Sepia Saturday this week the photo prompt is of some old bibles. I don't have any old bibles, but I sure have a lot of old books.

I'm a real sucker when it comes to old books, especially children's text books. But sometimes these books are literally falling apart. Can I throw a falling apart book away? NO!

So what can I do with these old books? Just lately I've been using the book covers as art. I carefully tear off the cover of the book (saving all the old pages) and then do a collage on the back of the cover. Besides old books, I have stacks and stacks of ephemera that can go into the collages.



When I saw the photos of the old bibles, it reminded me of one of the collages I did. You know how people keep track of their births and deaths in the family bible? Well I found an old book (here it is)

It's called Poetic Jewels. Someone had used the inside front cover to record the births of their family.

I thought this was kind of unusual. Maybe the Duke's didn't have a bible. They used this poetry book to record their little "jewels" instead. There is Landis, Charley, Virgie, Winnie and Elvin, all recorded in the poetry book.

So I decided to make a collage incorporating this family information. We looked up all of these people on Ancestry and found all of them.  So I used the census listing of the Dukes in the collage. They were all listed - Landis, Charley, Virgie, Winnie and Elvin. Isn't Ancestry wonderful?



Here's the completed collage of the Duke's "family bible".

The photos aren't really Dukes. I couldn't find photos of them so used some old yearbook photos instead. I'm thinking he looks like a Charley and she looks pretty much how I picture Virgie.

So that's something you can do with an old falling apart book. It's fun, it's creative and it's recycling. And I thought this was just going to be a hobby. But Barbara posted some of my book cover collages on her blog and one of our local art dealers saw the blog and wanted to purchase four of the collages!! So I guess it's not just a hobby anymore. I'm going to have to get serious.

For other stories about vintage books and bibles see Sepia Saturday




25 comments:

  1. Great idea Nancy. I don't like to be a party pooper, but I can see one problem. Once sold, and stripped of its context and provenance, the fact that that the photos bear no relationship to the Duke family identified by the census listing and birth dates is lost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I wish I could have found photos of the Duke family. But since I couldn't, I decided to take a little artistic license for the collage.

      Delete
  2. That is so cool, your very own stylish bible!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't resist old books either. Or old knitting patterns. Don't get too serious now ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have lots of old knitting books too. Think I'll incorporate some of them into the collages. The old ones can be pretty funny.

      Delete
  4. We have some old books that we do not know what to do with. I shall have to take a look at them again now. Somehow I don't think I will find a poetry jewel like yours.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Keeping old books in good shape is a challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I oftentimes buy signed (and dated, located) objects in flea markets, then use Ancestry to locate relatives -- and send the items back to the family of origin...Ancestry is a wonderful thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've sent a few photos back to relatives too. When I can find them.

      Delete
  7. "Precious Jewels," with its family information, is a precious jewel indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rescued from the junk pile and oblivion, your collages elevate the forgotten into art people will treasure for years. I love these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helen. That makes me feel great.
      Nancy

      Delete
  9. Gosh, the green book fourth down from the top in the pile of books on the left looks familiar. I can't quite make out the title, but it looks very much like several of the old children's books my husband's family had that were passed on to us to pass on to our children & grandchildren. And you're right - you don't throw old books out no matter how out of shape they are. There's a lovely used book store in Modesto, CA called "Yesterday's Books". When I was growing up, we had a wonderful children's Christmas book which I loved, but when the spine came apart & pages started falling out it was apparently thrown away. When I had my own children I wanted to find that book again, but couldn't remember the exact title of it, nor who published it Years went by & then one day I happened to read an article in the Modesto Bee about the book by a columnist with the Los Angeles Times. The book she wrote about was owned by the family of the actress who played Nurse Kelly on the TV series, "M.A.S.H." who was a friend of the columnist. I called the columnist who called 'Nurse Kelly'- giving her my phone number & she called me! We chatted about the book for several minutes & she gave me all the information I needed to have "Yesterday's Books" find it for me & now my youngest daughter has it for her children. Amazing things happen & I'm not certain at all they happen by happenstance! :->

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a fabulous story about finding the Christmas book. That would have made a great Sepia Saturday post. Thanks for sharing.
      Nancy

      Delete
  10. I have been winnowing out my old books, but there are some that I just can't bear to take from their familiar stand. The set of children's books that came with the Encyclopedia Americana which we bought when our first daughter was born. We hauled that set of encyclopedias all over two states and our children and their friends scanned the pages for reports for nigh onto twenty-five years. The outdated encyclopedias were easy to part with -- but not so the children's books which I had read to children, brothers, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. Now they are patiently waiting for the next generation which is a bit slow in arriving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the next generation will appreciate your treasured books.

      Delete
  11. I have boxes of books to get rid of. None are precious. I'm perfectly willing to keep the old textbooks that had belonged to my grandfather and great grandfather. Anything else is fair game for the Friends of the Library sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since I work at our Friends of the Library book store, I can applaud you for donating your boxes of books.
      But I hope you keep your grandparents old textbooks. Those sound like real treasures.
      Nancy

      Delete
  12. I find it so hard to part with old books - so many memories. This is a very creative use of your stockpile and it seems you have a new job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow I don't think my hobby will morph into a real business. But it keeps me entertained.

      Delete
  13. I don't buy OLD books, but I do buy a lot of used books. If something looks interesting and cheap, I buy it and often don't really read it. Your post reminded me of a craft book I bought a couple of years ago called "Altered Books 101." You could probably get some ideas from that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. An innocent endeavor that's turning into a serious commitment?
    Good for you!! May you never run out of old books!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there's no way that I will ever run out of old books. I have way too many and the problem is, I keep buying more. It's an addition!
      Nancy

      Delete
  15. Ah! You just cant beat the smell & Texture of Old Books.Something Kindle just cant match (although I'm sure they are working on a new app as we speak!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what a great idea. An app that you can touch for the texture of old books and scratch for the odor. I think you should get right on that.
      Nancy

      Delete