I love vintage books and I cannot lie

vintage book


Rachel Phipps loves vintage books so much she once set up Pilgrim’s Proverb, an online second-hand and vintage bookshop. Don’t we all hanker for that musty scent? Vintage books – so good, we could eat their binding…

I scowl every time I walk into a bookshop and see kindles stacked up on the shelf. To me, a book is something you hold in your hand, something you turn the pages of.

I’ve tried reading Shakespeare’s King Lear on my iPod (but only because you can get his entire works as a free app!) on the train but I just could not get used to reading the words on the screen rather than in print. For some reason I just can’t get used to reading my literature on the screen, or really any form of technological advancement thats supposed to ‘help’ you read a book. Um, except for audiobooks – which are great and lightweight on the train, or when your hands are otherwise occupied. They’re great when you’re jogging!

Thinking about this, it struck me as odd that I’m so in love with having a book actually in my hand. I still love the feel of glossy magazines in my hand, for example, but I read my newspaper and I digest most of my other media online from either my laptop or my Blackberry. I receive most of my news updates via Twitter. So what is it in this technological age that makes you love a good old-fashioned book? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s just the idea of having an entire story – so much interest and enjoyment – just sitting there in your hands. There’s that excitement of turning the page and that lovely bookish smell it would be absolutely impossible for a mere gadget to emulate.

This brings me onto my overly obsessive and ultimate passion; old and vintage books. The smell of old books is unbeatable, and you get the beautiful leather bindings, hand cut pages, colour plates and little details that book makers just do not bother with these days. You start with all that, then think about how many other people have held that book before you. You imagine how all those people delighted in its pages and relished the tale.

I always try to give vintage books as gifts. I can’t actually think of a better present than your own little piece of literary history!