There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by objects of the past. Dolls, comic books, trinkets, old dresses and vinyls all squished into booths or piled in a corner–exploring an antique store is like exploring a different world where all time period mold into one.
You can find a sewing machine from the 1800’s, trinkets and bells from other countries (authentically made, as well–not just made in China) among other interesting tidbits.
If ever there was a place made to inspire the writer mind, it’s antique stores.
Tired of looking online for hints about your book’s time period? Go to an antique store and you’re guaranteed to find at least one object from the time period of your book. It’s a way to get hands-on research into people’s past lives and physically see and touch objects that were used in another time by people far away.
This might sound odd, but there are connections to be made in small antique stores–specifically, antique book stores. There have been a few I’ve visited who are small and out of the way, and would love some kind of publicity. Some of these places would love for an author to do a signing at their store to bring more attention to their shop.
Not to mention, simply talking to one of the owners of a booth (if you’re lucky enough to find them there) about how and where they found the objects they’re selling may inspire you, or give you information you never knew you’d need.
4. Discovering Authors of the Past
Reading “forgotten” authors is very dear to me, and antique stores will always have at least one booth that sells old, antique books.
In general, writers should read as much as they can; a good reader typically makes a good writer, and reading older books that not many have read before can be a good way of reading new and interesting perspectives and writing styles.
Reading books from antique stores will broaden your reading and expand your ideas. Not only that, but if you enjoy a book from an antique shop you’ve never heard of before, it can be inspiring to know that, even though the book may not have been popular, years later there was still someone who enjoyed reading it.
*All pictures are taken by myself and a friend inside “The Dusty Bookshelf” in Kansas. You can find most of them on my Instagram.