When I come across vintage books, I am often surprised by the beauty of the covers – and the amount of time and effort and creativity that went into them.
It reminds me of how important artwork and photography were for the record album covers of my generation and how people lamented the loss of “creative space” when cassettes and then CDs replaced them. Which isn’t to say that covers are not still extremely important, even in this digital age. I have spent countless hours working with designers on my own book covers to try to capture the mood and tone of the stories inside.
But there is something immensely appealing in the original artwork of those old hardback covers that evoke the aesthetics and charm of an earlier era.
Like other people, I sometimes use old books as decorations around the house, just to enjoy the vintage feel and beautiful colors of these little works of art.
The next time you’re at a used book store, or a garage sale, or at an odds and ends shop, keep you eyes open for these beautiful treasures from another time.
“A dream garden is better than no garden at all. At least your mind is filled with flowers and color and beauty. And I think, without even being aware of it, we slowly move towards what we hold in our minds.” (Words from Millie to her daughter Vita in my novel And So We Dream)
If I had a garden, I’d take my breakfast there.
I’d find a hammock or a garden chair and enjoy the peaceful shade.
I’d invite a friend to join me for lunch among the blooms,
and I’d find a quiet spot in the fragrant afternoons.
In the garden’s comfort, I’d indulge in a book or two,
and include a pot of tea and a floral china cup.
And in the scented evenings, the garden all aglow,
I’d sleep among the flowers and dream the sweetest dreams.
Now that it’s officially spring, reading outdoors has even more appeal. Opening a new book amid the first flowers of spring or under blossoming trees speaks of new beginnings, a sense of well-being, and hope.
There’s the promise of longer days and milder weather, and hopefully, more free time to indulge in the discovery of new books.
And if it’s still too cold where you live to read outdoors, bring a bit of springtime inside with a few blossomy sprigs or some fresh-cut flowers to remind you of what’s up ahead.
Spring seems to be the perfect season to read a Jane Austen novel, or one of the many books inspired by her work. Perhaps it’s because her stories end on a hopeful, spring-like note.
Perhaps it’s because milder weather allows the heroines to be out and about more, as with Elizabeth Bennet’s strolls through the spring countryside in Pride and Prejudice,
or Fanny Price in Mansfield Park enjoying a spring day in Portsmouth with its “mild air, brisk soft wind, and bright sun, occasionally clouded for a minute: and everything looked so beautiful under the influence of such a sky,”
or Persuasion’s Anne Elliot “hoping that she was to blessed with a second spring of youth and beauty.”
The fresh beauty of blossom-time and the promise of milder weather are just the right time to reread your favorite Austen book or to discover a new one.
Once in a while I put out a request for book reviews. I’m always trying to increase my numbers, especially on Amazon and Goodreads, as it leads to greater discoverability.
If you have read The Garden House, I would deeply appreciate a review (and by that I mean a few words or even a simple star review).
If you have not read The Garden House but would like to and are willing to leave an honest review on Amazon, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a free ebook through BookFunnel.
And to all of you who have left reviews, thank you ever so much. Your stamp of approval means the world to me!