EXPRESS YOUR SHELF WITH TIMELESS, VINTAGE BOOKS
Whether you have a lust for literature, or you simply want it to look like you have one, there’s nothing like a carefully curated library to lend a home timeless allure. Those who’ve spent countless years cultivating a covetable book collection know that tomes needn’t be restricted to bookshelves, either. Art books piled high on a coffee table channel a worldly air, while fashion books stacked in an out-of-commission fireplace project a mood of ineffable cool. For almost all, picking out titles is a labor of love. True biblio enthusiasts will tell you that it pays to know what your interests are so that you never miss out on a vintage score. Ahead, we delve into six genres of collectible books to consider.
Tie yourself over between trips to the MOMA with art books. The holy grail when it comes to coffee table books, art volumes are relatively easy to source and make it easy to fill your home with culture. If you’re a modern art buff, consider titles dedicated to Mid 20th Century Pop Art masters, like Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat. More into archival artists? Look for titles on everyone from Manet to Monet and Matisse to Munch. If you can't be tied down to a single muse, consider expanding your library to include art books on art genres such as Impressionism, Cubism, or Fauvism.
For the high-level collector, look for titles dedicated to legendary fashion houses like Balenciaga, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy. Most houses have released anniversary editions, and it’s also possible to find Vogue retrospectives on most brands. Fashion enthusiasts may also want to dig into the Rizzoli books archive. The legendary publishing house has published numerous titles on the fashion houses, as well as their creative heads And while Cecil Beaton falls into many categories other than fashion, his vintage fashion books are among some of the most coveted thanks to his artsy, self-designed dust jackets.
Travel books never fail to ignite the imagination, making them perfect for populating a coffee table, guest room, or office. For the armchair traveler who prefers a high-level overview, look for titles dedicated to entire continents or regions, such as Africa, Tuscany, the Caribbean, or British Columbia. Alternatively, keep an eye out for destination types of books, like the most beautiful beaches in the world, or the world’s most stunning lakes. Narrow down your interests even more, and hunt down niche volumes spotlighting city-specific traits like vintage signs of Los Angeles, castles of Scotland, or Art Deco design in Miami beach.
Whether it’s a volume devoted to a regional interior style such as Moroccan or Parisian interiors, or a single designer’s archival works, design books aren’t just beautiful to flip through, they’re treasure troves of ideas. For the architecturally inclined, seek out books by spatial masters like Frank Lloyd Wright and Gio Ponti. More into interiors? Opt for books about founding interior design doyennes like Elsie deWolfe, Madeleine Castaing, and Dorothy Draper. Dorothy Draper also penned a few guidebooks of her own that are worth hunting down, including Entertaining is Fun: How to Be a Popular Hostess.