Biblio Beauties: 50 Vintage Found-Photos of Ladies Reading


“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain” wrote Louisa May Alcott in 1873. Indeed, there’s something exceptional and a bit dangerous about a woman with a book – a sight to be condemned in days of old and still frowned-upon in much of the world. As romance author, Lisa Kleypas, famously said, “A well read woman is a dangerous creature.” (A quote which has subsequently landed on an untold number of coffee cups and t-shirts the world over.)

So, here is a massive library of “dangerous creatures” reading books, magazines, newspapers and whatnot, pulled from every nook and cranny of the retro landscape. Enjoy.

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(1) You can tell this is an old photograph because, if it were current, she would be on her phone.

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(2)-(3) A couple ladies catching up on the classics: Horse magazine and The Great Locomotive Chase

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(4) I presume a sorority has just received their yearbooks

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(5) – (6) A couple blondes enjoying their fashion magazines

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(7) I think “Stellungen” roughly translates from German to “Positions”.  I’m sure it’s a real page turner.

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(8) An Empty Spoon by Sunny Decker sits stuffed next to her purse.  It’s a story about an upper class lady who goes to teach poor kids in Philly by an author, like Harper Lee, who wrote one book then disappeared.


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(9) Her German book title says something about a “fun ending”; translators needed. (10) It simply says “Women” at the top; not sure exactly what this long-stemmed lass is reading.

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(12) Six girls, one magazine.  Maybe they should consider taking turns.  (13) Barbara’s really into reading… and massive name tags.

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(14) Who’s going to succeed in life – the girl who keeps up with current events in the newspaper, or the girl that swills soda and plays ping-pong? I think you know the answer.

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(15) – (16)

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(17) Remember when big ashtrays were everywhere – including the library?

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(19) The fella behind her is contemplating an action of some kind… I’m thinking he’s up to no good.

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(20) Large-print books for the vision impaired.

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(21) Not sure why she’s on the hardwood with a perfectly good couch behind her.  Also take note of the excessive amount of towels. (?)

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(22) These guys are pretending to be interested in their books.  We all know better.

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(23) What? Don’t all women do their reading in red sheer negligees?

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(24) The headline is about serial home invasions…. should they really be smiling?

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(28) – (29)


(30) For some reason, this found photo gives me a slightly creepy feeling… like there’s something bad out there in the dark.

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(31) – (32)

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(34) There’s a million books called “The Prize”, so I’m not sure which book this is. (35)

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(39) She may want to consider reading glasses.



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(41) Die Sondigen Frauen, (42)


(43) So much seventies in one photo: the ashtray, the platform shoes, the TV antenna…

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(44) – (45) I told you this would be an eclectic mix.

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(46) – (47)

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(48) “Stranger Than Science”  by Frank Edwards

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(49) – (50)

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