In the BNOTP Library: Antiques For The Table

Someone asked me in a comment a while back how I kept up with which books I’ve already purchased, so as to avoid accidentally buying the same one again. Most of the time I know immediately if a book I come across is one I already have, but over the years it is easy to forget and occasionally buy one you already own.

When I very first fell in love with buying new and used books on Amazon (after realizing I could get “Like New” or “Very Good” books for less than most decorating magazines) I kept a little flip notebook where I jotted them down. On one side of the pages in the notebook, I had all the books listed by title with a page for each letter of the alphabet.  On the other side of the pages in the notebook, I had the books recorded by author, again in alphabetical order. It was easy to quickly determine if a book I was eyeing was already in my decorating library. Once I created my office library, I quit recording them down since I could easily scan the shelves before ordering now that they were all together in one spot just a few feet away.

Amazon Does It For You
I’m not sure when it started but the last few months I’ve noticed, when you pull up a book on Amazon, they actually remind you if it’s one you’ve purchased before.  I love that!

You can see it in this print screen I captured earlier today. Just above the picture of the  book it has a little note reminding me I purchased this book on August 18th, 2007. That was exactly one year before I began blogging; I started the BNOTP blog on August 18th, 2008.  I love this new feature and I’m so glad they started it!



Antiques for the Table is a true treasure. The rooms and table settings pictured in the book are so beautiful, they give me goosebumps.

BNOTP Library Logo for Posts

In the BNOTP Library: Antiques for the Table: A Complete Guide to Dining Room Accessories for Collecting and Entertaining
Author: Sheila Chefetz
Published: Studio
Hardcover: 232 pages
Book size: 11.4 x 8.8 x 1 inches

Antiques For The Table


3 Things I Like About This Book:

  •  Beautiful photography of some of the most exquisite china, silver, serving pieces and table settings you can imagine.
  • Lots of great information about 18th, 19th & 20th century china, glass and silver.
  • There’s a kitty atop a beautiful bed with a lovely breakfast-in-bed setting on pages 12 & 13. What do you mean that’s a silly reason to buy a book? πŸ˜‰ Okay, it also contains lots of wonderful ideas and tips for entertaining including hosting a tea party, outdoor entertaining and setting up a buffet.

Be sure and read some of the reviews on this book, they say more than I could. I think it’s a hidden gem.

You can read more about this book, Antiques for the Table: A Complete Guide to Dining Room Accessories for Collecting and Entertaining and preview it at Amazon via the picture-link below.


You’ll find previously featured books from the BNTOP library here: In The BNOTP Library or just click below.

In the BNOTP Library

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. This would be helpful when the covers are sometimes changed when a book is reissued. I think I bought a container gardening book three times before I realized what I had done. I gave the extras to family, but I have resolved to do better in the future. πŸ™‚

    • It was easy to do before they started letting you know. I love this new feature! A few years ago I purchased a book by Roger Banks-Pye Called “Colefax and Fowler, Interior Inspirations.” Later, I purchased another one by the same author with a different cover and a different name called it “Inspirational Interiors.” Turns out, they are the exact same book just with different covers and slightly different names. Whoever heard of doing that?!

  2. Peggy Thal says

    Thanks Susan! Just bought it. I do not have this book and it sounds really beautiful.

  3. Susan, we have many of the same titles on our shelves, and this is one of them. It’s a favorite book that I pull off the shelf for inspiration frequently. I’m much enjoying this series of In the BNOTP Library. Great idea!

    • Thanks, Sarah! Oh, so glad you have this one! I’m having so much fun sharing them. I get excited over great books and it’s a joy for me to share the ones I love. πŸ™‚

      • Susan, how do you organize your books in your library? Are they in categories then alphabetically shelved or do you have them all just alphabetically shelved? I need to get mine organized. I’m not good about keeping them in order and need a good system. Right now they are in categories, but not alphabetically shelved because some are stacked, etc. Do you also keep a wish list?

        • Well, funny you should ask. πŸ™‚ When I first added the bookshelves in the office, I tried to put them in order by the author but I soon gave up on that idea due to issues I ran into with the height of the Billy bookshelves. So I decided to just group them according to the subject which has actually worked pretty well. It probably only makes sense to me, but it works for me and I can usually find the book I want pretty quickly. For example, I have all my “English Country” decorating books grouped together on a couple of shelves…then I have all my “French” decor books together. I have a shelf for “Cottage” decorating, another section of a shelf for beach cottages and beach homes. I have a whole shelf that’s filled with Table Setting, China, etc… books. I have one shelf that has regional or books about Southern homes, one shelf for gardening books, etc… So it goes like that. I was putting them in alphabetical order in each section by the author’s last name, but I soon gave that up, too. If I have several by a single author, I do group those together.

          The top shelf on my IKEA Billy bookshelves is what they call an “extension” and it’s taller than all the other shelves, so I’ve placed some of my really tall books up there, others are just laying down on the shelf. So due to the constraints the bookshelves have given me, they are sort of organized but not totally the way I would have liked. As I acquire more books, I may make more of an effort to alphabetize them in each section.

          I do have a wish list and periodically I go through and delete things. This is kind of a long answer, probably more info than you needed. πŸ™‚

  4. Oh Susan, you have to stop! I will out of money soon buying all of these wonderful books! Love, love, love them. Wonderful that we can get such used bargains at amazon.

  5. Cool new feature with Amazon, I wasn’t aware. My husband is a voracious reader (mostly library loaner these days), and he keeps a spreadsheet of books he’s read so he won’t buy or borrow repeats. Works well on Excel, as you can search and find titles easily with a command.

  6. Amazon has had the feature for years of notifying if you already purchased a book, DVD, etc. It is very helpful but not foolproof. For example, you may have purchased the book in paperback and it may not alert you of that if you are looking at the hardback copy, or if a book has been reissued. Sometimes it does catch it. There are minor quirks, but it is a great tool.

    • They used to keep up with it by asking you under the book if you already owned it or if it was something you weren’t interested in. That feature seems to be gone. I’ve never noticed the little message above it with the exact date you bought it until a few months ago. That’s a shame that it doesn’t recognize when you’ve bought it in another version. It works pretty well for me because I only buy hardcover books, almost never buy a paperback.

  7. When you view your Amazon “Recommendations” you can then click on a product and check that you already own it. The Recommendations are made based on similar items that you own. This is useful for items that you purchased outside of Amazon so they do not have it on file.

  8. One step ahead! franki

  9. I too own this book which I purchased for all of 50 cents at a library yard sale. I have treasured it like no other, often referring to it when I come across china I recall seeing in the book. Since my big purchase…I’ve acquired some Booths Real Old Willow and some Mason’s china….it is all because of this unbelievable book!

  10. Hi Suzanne
    There is a website application which is available specifically for the home cataloging of book collections. It is entitled www, The best place to start is probably to look it up on the Wikipedia web site page, to get a general overview of all its characteristics, especially its flexibility. It is economical to participate in their program and a “must-have” tool for maintaining “sane” access to a growing book collection!

  11. I’ve been too busy to keep up with my favorite blogs! Imagine my surprise when I opened this to find one of my favorite books on your list. Living in New England, we have access to many wonderful stores and I had the opportunity to visit and make some modest purchases at this author’s store, Country Dining Room Antiques. (It was once featured in Country Living magazine.) It was the loveliest antique house and the rooms were filled with kitchen and dining furniture and scads of linens, china, and flatware. I had to pull my mother out of the ‘blue and white’ room when it was time to leave. The first time I visited, I had the opportunity to purchase this book and have it signed. Ms. Chefetz was warm and gracious. She has passed on, but I remember her and her store fondly and wish I could visit it again. I have never seen such an amazing collection anywhere.


    • Oh Wendy, thanks so much for sharing that. I didn’t know she had passed on…I’m so sorry to hear that. What an incredibly talented woman and the book she wrote has brought me so many hours of pleasure and continues to do so today. I would have loved to have had an opportunity to shop in her store. As wonderful as the book is and her excellent taste, I imagine the store was truly wonderful. Thanks again for describing her store…loved hearing what it was like. So glad you had a chance to shop there.

  12. Biodynamic Barb says

    This book, and her other one, Modern Antiques for the Table, are my two FAVORITE books! I refer to them constantly. If I have these two, do I still need Choosing China and Glass by Caroline Clifton-Mogg? How much overlap is there? Thank you!!

    • It is a beautiful book and definitely worth it to me. If you love Antiques for the Table and Modern Antiques for the Table, you will love Choosing China and Glass. I love all Barbara Milo Ohrbach’s books, too!

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!