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LH 157: 8 Tips For Collecting & Using Vintage Books

LH 157: The Magic Of Vintage Books

I’ve been collecting vintage books since I was a kid. I absolutely love old books.

They are real treasures, and I have bookcases full of old gardening and cookbooks (many over 100 years old) and even old canning books. I really find a lot of value in collecting them because you can still glean a lot of fun information from these older books.

Which is why you want to help them last…maybe for another hundred years.

Yes, some of the information is outdated in vintage books. But that doesn’t mean there is no value in them.

I find so many little nuggets of truth in them, and I know you will too.

They really are a great source of inspiration, and are full of ideas you may have never heard of and aren’t found online.

In today’s episode, I share some of my favorite vintage books and tell you how to seek out and preserve books of your own.

You will learn:

  • Why you want to collect vintage books
  • What info can be used or NOT used from these books
  • How to find older books with inspiring ideas
  • Tips for proper care and storage
  • Why you need to use and ENJOY the books you have
  • And SO much more…


Resources & Links Mentioned:

Some of my favorite Vintage writers:

  • Rosetta E. Clarkson
  • Helen M. Fox
  • Eleanor Sinclaire Rohde
  • Annie Burnham Carter
  • Gertrude Jekyll

Some vintage books I mentioned:

  • Magic Gardens by Rosetta E. Clarkson
  • In An Herb Garden by Annie Burnham Carter
  • Adopting an Abandoned Farm by Kate Sanborn
  • Stillroom Cookery by Grace Firth
  • Secrets of the Still by Grace Firth
  • A Garden of Herbs by Eleanor Sinclaire Rohde
  • The Art of Cooking with Herbs & Spices by Milo Miloradovich


Click here for the full transcript for Episode #157


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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • JJ says:

    I want to add library sales to the list of sources for vintage books. I’ve been lucky enough to find copies of the Ball Blue Book (canning guide) from the 1940s, and the references to war time rationing and material shortages are as fascinating as the recipes.

  • This was a really fun episode, because I’m such a book nut. I *love* the wartime era printings, so thanks for the reminder, JJ.

    My tip is to use an app like Libib, which is great for scanning ISBN barcodes (and there’s a manual entry for those older than the early 1970s). It lives on my phone and I can reference my database whenever I’m at those library sales very quickly to find out if I already have a copy of XYZ. I’m sure there are other and better apps, but this one is free and easy.

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