An Adventure in Book Hunting #3: Summer of Love…? #BookSelling #BuyVintage

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As some of you may know I sell antique and vintage books on Etsy. It’s a hobby that allows me to do one of my favourite things – buy old books – without feeling too guilty. It’s not really about making money (although that’s nice too), it’s about the joy of finding beautiful old / rare books, researching their history and giving them a new home. In this new feature I will be sharing some of my finds with you!

This is a little a bit different to my regular book-hunting post because the books I’m talking about are a secret. No, I haven’t gone completely mad, honest, I have just implemented an idea I’ve been wanting to do for ages in my Etsy bookshop. Read on, and all will become clear.

Blind Date with a Vintage Book

I’ve seen book lucky-dips at various book fairs & shops and have always loved the idea of it. So I finally took the bull by the horns and chose four of the vintage books in my stock and created a dating profile for each one which has clues to the books- but essentially, the idea is that people buy a secret book.

All books are vintage, so would have been published between 20-99 years ago. They are all in good, readable condition and I list the exact condition and flaws of each book, but nothing about the book’s content.

I think it’s a really fun idea, and hope people are willing to take a chance on an unknown book. If you (or someone you are buying a gift for) collect old books, then you can’t go wrong. All of these books will look good on your vintage bookshelf!

I’ll also be throwing in one of my handmade bookmarks and other bookish goodies (pens, badges, notebooks, postcards,ETC) so if the book is sadly not to your liking, all is not lost! I have listed these first four books at an introductory offer of £5 which is a bargain, if i do say so myself.

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Who would you choose as your hot date this summer? 

Visit my Etsy Store to view in full

Festive Thursday #1: Shopping, Reading, Watching, Waiting… #BloggingThroughChristmas #FestiveReads

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Welcome to Festive Thursday where I’m going to be sharing with you all my Christmas endeavours, including the books I’m reading, the films I’ve watched, gift ideas I’ve found, and any festive events I’ve attended. Because, well, I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO HARD.

I’ve decided to start my festive posts early this year because I always run out of time. And yes, I have started celebrating and preparing already! 

Last year, December crept up on me and I didn’t feel like I did enough fun, Christmassy things before Christmas itself. It didn’t help that I also took hardly any time off work. Well not this year my friends. This year I am starting early for MAXIMUM CHRISTMAS FEELS. Any ‘it’s too early’ naysayers can leave now. 

The shops are alive with the sound of Christmas music…

I have made a tentative start on my Christmas shopping, mainly spurred on by finding the most beautiful wrapping paper in TK Max that I ever did see. My friends did laugh at me when I met them in the pub in early November and made them repeatedly look at my amazing Christmas paper (which cost me £4 a roll). But it’s so pretty (the photos don’t do it justice, trust me). 

I love picking out wrapping paper and deciding how to dress up my presents each year. I’m not the best wrapper, but I make up for it in effort. I’m now on the hunt for the perfect purple ribbon/bows to go with this paper…any ideas?

Curling up with a good book or a movie…

I have, of course, already started hankering for some trashy, festive reads and terrible made-for-TV movies. Let’s face it, that began in September but I managed to hold off until we hit November (see, I have my boundaries).

On the book front, things got off to a great start with Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin and a stunning children’s book called The Book of Kringle, which I now really want a physical copy of because it looked so beautiful, but I can’t find it anywhere where it isn’t extortionate. Damn you, Modern World. 

The movie front hasn’t gone quite as well but I have enjoyed it all the same. I started with Arthur Christmas which I remember enjoying at the cinema but I wasn’t as impressed the second time round. I also caught Once Upon a Holiday on TV which was much more my style (r.e Trash with a capital T). 

Christmas Pudding Vodka & Christmas Breakfast Muffins

For the past few years I’ve made a batch of Christmas Pudding Vodka to give as presents as well as to drink myself/take to parties etc. I’ve decided not to make it this year (I will be trying different things instead, do not fret), but I wrote this post last year and never got round to publishing it (I told you I always run out of time)!

As you need to soak the fruit for a while, I thought now would be a better time to post it. 

Christmas Pudding Vodka is really easy, and really yummy. The only slightly specialist bit of equipment you need is a muslin cloth/jam strainer, but you could always use a thin cotton tea towel. All you need is a pack of the traditional festive dried fruits you use for Christmas cake/pudding, sugar, cinnamon sticks, spices, oranges & lemons, a bottle of good vodka, and some time. 

After the Vodka has been soaking in the fruits and spices for about a week it’s all lovely and syrupy and tastes like the epitome of festive, yet still has a good kick.

It’s perfect for shots (even my Nan went back for a second shot last year), or with lemonade or tonic if you don’t like it too sweet.

The full recipe I follow is here.

I’ve never bothered with the vanilla, and I leave mine for at least two weeks, stirring at least once a day. Once you’ve bottled your vodka, you’re left with delicious boozy fruit that you can do lots with instead of throwing away.

Last year I just had it as a dessert, warmed up with custard. But this year, I thought – MUFFINS. Breakfast muffins, but boozy ones – WHY THE HELL NOT, IT’S CHRISTMAS!

I used a standard breakfast muffin recipe like this one, and just tweaked it. They turned out delicious, especially warm and topped with jam, as they’re not that sweet alone. 

So there you have it. As you can see, I’m easing myself in gently this year 😉

If you’re not feeling Christmassy after that lot, there is no hope for you. 

Next Week: The Christmas lights switch-on, Winter Wonderland and more festive reads!

 

Friday Feature: Book Deals For Christmas!

Hi Guys,

As a member of the Waterstones affiliate program I’m thrilled to offer some extra deals as part of their Black Friday offers. I don’t like the idea of this whole Black Friday thing, nor do I like trying to convince people to spend money, but we all love a book deal, right!?

And sometimes these things are necessary. Without wanting you all to get the violins out, I was made redundant last month so every little helps at the moment. If any of my posts have inspired you buy a book, or buy one as a gift I’d really appreciate it if you’d consider buying from Waterstones via one of the banners on my blog. I get a teeny bit of commission and you get to buy a book at a good price, from an actual bookshop rather than Amazon!

Waterstones deliver worldwide, but offer free delivery to the UK.

And so to the deals (click on the banners to view to full ranges) :

Half Price Bestsellers

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For a limited time only

30% Off Paperbacks

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On-going Waterstones deal

PLUS An Extra 10% Off At Checkout

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Until December 2nd!

Terms:
Discount code is valid until 12pm, Tuesday 2nd December 2014.
Discount code can only be used on Waterstones.com and not in Waterstones bookshops.
Discount code cannot be used with Click & Collect.
Discount codes do not apply to Kindle, Kindle accessories, eBooks, eBook Reader accessories, audio downloads or gift cards.

Thanks in advance, happy reading/giving!!