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Form, Fun and Functional Books for Collectors

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Not sure where to find those great pieces everyone else finds or perhaps you have some great stuff, but it's not being shown to its best potential? These books are full of wonderful ideas on decorating with those flea market finds, ways to display and things you would have never thought about collecting.

The first group of books are on decorating, ways to spotlight and showcase your collections, as well as giving them a new look with perhaps a little bit of TLC.

Found, Free & Flea

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What would you do if you bought a property that was filled with great junk? Stuff that collectors dream of. Well you could collect even more, then write a book about it. That's what Tereaa Surratt did, with Found, Free & Flea The result is fun book filled with loads of images, history and ways to display those treasures.

Fresh American Spaces

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Although this book is more about different decorating styles, there is one section that is particularly perfect for collectors. All I know is I want to recreate the ideas in these rooms and unlike some books -- these rooms are doable for just about anyone. Now I just need to convince my hubby to let me paint a wall black to better display those paint-by-number canvases I have. Interested? Check out Fresh American Spaces.

The Curious Collector

© Lark Books
If you had to pick 101 collectibles. where would you start. Or better yet, what would make your cut? The Curious Collector author Jessie Walker did just that. The result is a picture book for collectors. I had a lot of fun browsing through the pages and looking at collections in a new light.

Living With What You Love

© The Crown Publishing Group
Opulent and rich rooms are showcased in this book by Monica Rich Kosann. The recurring theme throughout the book, Living With What You Love are ways to incorporate the family memories through art work and photographs. There were so many good ideas that my mind was swirling with thoughts on how to use this in our home. What I liked best was how polished everything looked, but without that sterile feeling that many professional decorators leave. If you have loads of family photographs, along with cherished heirlooms, take a peek at this book. It might solve some of those decorating dilemmas.

Junk Beautiful

© Jim Crews
Are you into recycling "junk", repurposing old furniture and stuff that might be ready to toss on the trash pile? Well don't throw that stuff away just yet, at least not until you take a look at Junk Beautiful by authors Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer. Thirty DIY projects are included in the book that take in all skill levels.

Is it Trash or Treasure?

The books in this next section are good resource books for collectors. They will help you decipher what to look for in individual categories of collectibles, is it rare or common? And how on earth do you even store or take care of various pieces? These are all questions serious collectors should ask themselves. Finally, with the help of these knowledgeable authors, many of these questions are answered.

Saving Stuff

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Written by the senior conservator for the Smithsonian, Saving Stuff is the best book on the market on how to preserve, take care of and restore your cherished treasures. Although some of the methods might be a bit over-the-top for the average person, there is also a chapter on "Saving the Stuff Only a Parent Could Love". If you're a collector, how can you not have this book in your library?

Buy, Keep or Sell

© DK Publishgin
This is one my top three books for usefulness. When the book was recently misplaced, I panicked. The individual subjects (collectibles) are broken down into numerous subjects and although not covered in depth, this is best for the collector who wants to learn more about something that they previously had little or no knowledge of. Can't recommend Buy Keep or Sell enough, but it's best for those who might come across a piece and need to quickly learn more about it.

Good, Better or Best

© Viking Studio
Although I feel this book tries to cover too much for too many people, Good, Better or Best is extremely useful when you want to know more about the particular items that is covered. Problem is the items range from nineteenth century glass to Shirley Temple dolls, and most would be classified as antiques, not vintage. The non-nonsense tips are a great way to figure out just what is worth investing in and what you should "Stay Away From".

Kovels' American Collectibles

© Random House
If you are interested in American collectibles, consider yourself an expert or just a bare beginner, Kovels' American Collectibles 1900 - 2000 will be a definite help in that quest. No, you won't become an instant expert, but you will be better able to assess what you have or what you might want to buy. This will become a resource that you'll be picking up over and over again.

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