Sunday, February 6, 2011

1,923,431 Things to do with 1,923,431 Reader's Digest Books

It's been a while now that I have been searching for the Reader's Digest Condensed Novels... I read blog after (lucky) blog commenting how their local thrift store had them, or a friend's uncle's mom gave them a truckload and they were giving them away... yeah- lucky stories like that... My luck? The thrift stores only had the BORING brown no pattern covers, or they were junky in awful condition... Online?  Good luck finding the pattern I wanted! What to do...??! So, I stumbled upon this vintage book store and... I did what any normal person would do... I bought the entire lot from him. Compulsive? Maybe. But...

OH EM GEE. The COLORS!!! BEAUTIFUL! They could seriously compliment any room and the patterns on them are intense!

The first time I saw them being used as decoration on a blog (I CANNOT find the blog anywhere- please help! It was for her daughter's room and she put chipboard letters on the readers digest and used them as wall art!) I loved the colors she used and searched high and low for the books- no fun color luck. Until yesterday. When I hit the jackpot. You ready? It's insane how amazing all the colors/patterns are!

Now that I have 4 million books- what shall I do with them?! Here are a few ideas:

How adorable! To put velcro on the back and block off a wall with some great pattern books, like paper stitch did.

Unfortunately, the Etsy seller who created these is no longer selling any- this might force me to make my own!

OR, just keep them on your shelf! They're SO pretty you wouldn't even need to do anything with them! Kind of like Anthropologie's decorative books ($20 each? Yikes)

Emily, from Name 5 Things used her Penguin Classics to add some charm to her bookshelf- I will be using my Reader's Digests for the same effect (for a fraction of the price)!

I don't think I'll be short on books to practice with...

I have some multiples so I am willing to part with some if you like a color/pattern you like in the picture above! Lucky for you, I went overboard (as usual) and have some to sell if you'd like! I did the math and some research so $4 + shipping is fair and cheaper than most Etsy shops are offering. Just click on a picture of the book collage above to see all the pretty colors and patterns! Send me an email at: to let me know which you'd like!


  1. you crack me up. ha ha. wow. you just did that. lol.

    okay this week---will-get-that-box-to-you ; )

  2. sheila that's a ton of books!

  3. Joon, I cannot believe you bought all these books! Is Ordy gonna flip or was he with you when this all went down? Either way you have such amazing ideas that make it ok for you to buy them all :)

    I love...L.O.V.E the idea of the planner. If you ever make one and decide to sell them count me in. Or even if you decide to make a safe. I would totally buy one from you but I know that if I bought a book, I'd never do either one of these.

    - Letty

  4. Ordy wasn't with me- or else I wouldn't even have two of these books! But after a little convincing from me and my BFF he just stayed out of it (my money anyway!) hahaha

    we're working on some planners now for an Etsy shop, since there aren't any out there! The planner is my absolute favorite!!!

  5. Thanks for the shout out! I love the books you found!

  6. Oh man. I've seen the same post you are talking about with the books. Very cute. These books are gorgeous. Great find.

  7. those are the most beautiful books eva! I'm jealous of your find, I also get a kick out of lovely vintage books. to me they hold soooo much history and potential, it's like the past merging with the future for a wonderful present :)

  8. Check out Janet Hopkins' blog. She makes a junque binder with these that is FABULOUS!

  9. Love it! I love the shelves and the planner. I just might have to subscribe to readers digest now.

    I am having a fine art photography giveaway on my blog. The artist is Melanie Alexandra who has an etsy store and more than 200 options to choose from. Just leave me a comment telling me which is your favorite image.check it out!

  10. OH MY WORD! I LOVE these!! I love the planner idea. And, I have to confess--I love to read those books! My parents always had them around and I read them when I was young (4th grade?--too young, maybe! ;) I think I would have to read some first and then make them into some of these beautiful things. You are a genius!! (I would have bought all of them, too!)

  11. Oh I love thee! I just watched a demo on how to do some of this from Just Something I made...LOVE. When I am done with this book, I know what I am doing!

  12. Those books are gorgeous! I saw some similar at our thrift shop, but when I went back to buy them, they were gone. Sigh. I need to keep my eyes peeled!

  13. I never realized how gorgeous those Readers Digest covers were. What a terrifically inspiring post. I'd definitely love to make some of those day planners and notebooks. Can't wait to see what creative magic you whip up with your collection!


  14. I think I have found my soul mate. I have a garage full of RDCBs. And maybe an attic full, too, but I'm trying to keep that bit of information from my husband.

    1. You sound like me! My husband can't physically climb up to the attic so it's my safe haven for my treasures. LOL!

  15. Great post! I'm meeting a lady today who is giving me a bunch of RD books she was going to throw out.

    I found this cute project that uses the books as shelves with cardboard letters on top. Is it the article you refer too?


  17. Great blog! I knew about the books years ago, but never thought of all the fun projects I could learn to do! I went on a full country search on craigslist and found a wonderful lady in El Paso (about 4 hours away) who was unloading over 150 of them, FREE to whomever wanted them! A great friend of mine who lives about 40 minutes from El Paso and who comes into AZ a lot for work said he would be glad to pick them up and deliver! 160 books, a few newer ones without the pretty cover (but I still have ideas for those!) and even with the 20 or so that I picked up at a thrift store, I only had a few of the same. She still has quite a collection that she's going through and said she'd email me when they were ready to go. My new built-in bookshelves are over loaded, but beautiful!