If I admitted to collecting anything, it would have to be books. My home is overflowing with them, and I use them for everything from side tables to coffee table decor to a comforting presence to curl up with at the end of a long day. While I'm always eager to get my hands on the latest and greatest design books, I'm equally excited to track down an out of print or collectable book that I've been searching for for my collection. I will never tire of the thrill of the hunt. If it's hard to get ahold of, I want it all the more… just to see what all the fuss is about! Keep reading to find out which books are on my wish list du jour.

1. In his second book, the illustrious tastemaker Cecil Beaton shares a collection of his drawings and photographs scattered with his trademark witty commentary throughout. Published in 1937, a first edition can be found through Nick Harvill Libraries on for $800. 

2. On Living - With Taste is one of a few decorating handbooks published by the renowned British designer in the 60s and 70s. I would be very curious to see if my daily lifestyle is up to his high standards. The book is available through and copies start at $118.

3. Le diners de Gala is a cookbook written and illustrated by surrealist painter Salvador Dali in 1973. Although he has entire sections dedicated to some of his favorite exotic dishes, I think I'd be more willing to try one of his simpler recipes such as his "Avocado Toast." Dali's cookbook can be found on and starts at $375. 

4. I recently scored a copy of Danish fashion designer Malene Birger's Life and Work and it's quickly become one of my most treasured possessions. It was out of print for awhile, but luckily it seems like they're doing a second printing, as Amazon says it has just been re-released. Their list price is $85.50. 

5. Billy Baldwin Decorates is "a book of practical decorating ideas" from one of America's greatest designers originally published in 1972. Words of wisdom from the man himself? Count me in… Available on, starting at $18.

6. Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons is a complete collection of the works of the celebrated American artist. Considering Mr. Twombly passed in recent years, a tome such as this one would be all the more meaningful to add to my collection. Prices start at $349 on


Ellie Somerville McNevin

Features Editor



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