Beyond the Books: Collections

With the unfortunate demise of Jessi's "Life of a Blogger" feature on her blog, Karen, over at Kissin Blue Karen, has adapted the idea into something similar (with permission from Jessi) for fellow bloggers to partake in.  While I didn't participate as often as I wanted to in the past, with Summer coming along I should be able to draft some posts for this feature more often.

This week's topic for Beyond the Books is:  Things I Collect.  Now, in general, I'm not necessarily a collector of "things", but there are some items that I tend to always pick up when shopping/traveling/exploring/antiquing/etc.  In no particular order...

A close up of my much used map while living in Vienna

I have an affinity for maps...old maps, maps I've used, maps with writing on them, all maps.  I don't know what it is...perhaps the fact that they represent traveling or something...but maps have always interested me.  I have a framed map of Vienna in my living room.  It has holes in it, writing on it, and it's definitely seen better days, but that map was my lifeline when I was living in the city.  It got me everywhere I needed to go and I think it's beautiful.  I also have a GIANT wall map of Edinburgh that I purchased once I returned from living there.  I have yet to get it framed because the size alone pushes the framing costs to over $600 bucks...yikes!!!  It's still beautiful though :)  I have a couple maps that I've pasted in a journal while traveling (easy, small city maps given out at hostels).  Maps are great ways to really see a city and "map" (haha) your journey.

Books (obviously)
Clearly I need to dust...

I like vintage books for decorative purposes.  They look so beautiful sitting on bookshelves with randomness surrounding them.  Don't get me wrong though, I have tons (TONS) of non-vintage books shoved onto my bookshelves as well, but there's something about finding a gem in an antique shop.  I recently picked up this beautiful vintage book about Gypsies.  It's dark green with silver and blue foils.  Stunning.  No thrift shop/antiquing/garage sale trip is complete without perusing the books.


I love cookbooks.  So much so that I have an entire bookshelf in my kitchen devoted to them and from all different cuisines.  I've got the traditional Betty Crocker and then there is Polish, German, Italian, Southern, Jewish, Scottish, Thai, etc.  I have a cookbook dedicated to only using one pot and one for crockpots and ones for only cookies and cooking for two.  I have one where every recipe is comprised of four ingredients and one for casseroles.  I even have one that revolves around the use of Twinkies.  Cookbooks are my jam!

Key Chains

When  traveling, I would always pick up interesting key chains.  If it is a bottle opener, even better!  While I tend to purchase them and then give them away, I still have several that I just can't part with.  For example, my "I Love Scotland" bottle opener on my key ring.  The broken clogs from The Netherlands.  A miniature boy in traditional German lederhosen.  Two Japanese protection lions from Okinawa.  They're all completely trivial and nobody (NOBODY) needs that many key chains, but there's something satisfying about them...

What do you collect, if anything?

Happy reading!


  1. Maps are so cool! That's a fun thing to collect. I love to throw stuff away and declutter, so I'm not much of a collector. My husband and I do like to buy pint glasses when we eat at a restaurant out of town. We stole this idea from my sister and her husband. But we use only pint glasses for drinking anything at home, so it's a collection with a purpose. Pint glasses are surprising hard to find though. Souvenir shops don't ever sell them.

    1. I agree with pint glasses being practical. Though I don't necessarily collect them, I have accumulated several from various locations. It's definitely a more understandable and useful form of collecting than I am currently practicing...haha.

    2. Ha. To each his own. You like what you like.


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