Must-see vintage Birmingham bookstore

Reed Books is a bookstore in downtown Birmingham. With a residency of several decades, it has become a staple of the community. While people come from all over the world to view the thousands of books that line the shelves and the floors, there is much more to this bookstore than just the books. While Mr. Jim Reed, owner of Reed Books, will want to greet you with a smile, there are more faces that will welcome you into the store. Reed books is more than a store with faces. It is a a chance to find something new from the old. Take a look…

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Thrift finds: hidden treasures


1954 Voigtlander Vitessa L Type 140   (I collect cameras so this is my favorite find!)

Bought: $37.50 (half-priced day at the sale)

Value: $220-$420 depending on condition

Picked from: Hoover estate sale



4 vintage brass elephant wall hooks made in India

Bought: $1 each, $4 total

Value: $20 each, $80 total

Picked from: East Lake estate sale



Vintage Suntone MM500 Deluxe-I camera

Bought: $3

Value: $77.70 from

Picked from: Highway 411 Yard Sale


Latico Leathers Brown computer/tote bag

Bought: $1.50

Value: New $100+. Used $20-$60. I  really can’t put a solid number on it because I haven’t seen it for resale. All of the Latico bags I’ve seen for sale have been anywhere from $20-$200. Here’s a similar bag for sale on for $167.21.

Picked from: Hoover estate sale


Metal embossed camel back trunk

Bought: $40

Value: $80+, based on what I’ve seen similar trunks sell for at auctions.

Picked from: East Lake estate sale


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1958 National Geographic Society Atlas Folio

Bought: $5

Value: Seen for sale in an antique store for $45

Picked from: East Lake estate sale



Vintage Diana lomography camera

Bought: $2

Value: New for $65 (Urban Outfitters and online). Used, vintage for $30

Picked from: Mountain Brook estate sale

Antique Roadtrip

“What’s on 2nd?”What's on 2nd?

“What’s on 2nd?” is a vintage thrift shop located on 2nd Avenue North in downtown Birmingham.
Here you can happily hunt through three stories of items that tell tales of the past. The rafters are filled with unique objects ranging from vintage records, old school cameras, historical documents, trading cards and more.
Since 2007, the shelves have been filled from “an army of pickers who are constantly bringing in new items,” co-owner Steve Gilmer says.
You may not visit “What’s on 2nd?” with any intent of making a purchase, but any shopper is bound to make a connection with a nostalgic item to take home.

Unclaimed Baggage

Unclaimed Baggage is tucked in the small mountain town of Scottsboro in the northern corner of Alabama. The family-owned business has been thriving for more than 40 years.
Here you can discover other people’s treasure as you browse unclaimed luggage from all over the country.
The store covers an entire city block with more than 40,000 square feet of unclaimed airplane luggage. Items range from laptops to top-of-the-line cameras, designer clothes and purses and everything in between. All of the products are available at discounted prices.
Their huge selection of unique products draws customers from all over the map. Unclaimed Baggage is sure to keep any thrifty shopper busy for hours.

Homewood Antiquessshomewood5

Homewood Antiques and Marketplace is a family-owned business in Edgewood with an always changing, never ending stock of rare and fun antique pieces.
The store supports more than 50 vendors that supply a variety of merchandise. These vendors have created homemade items and several refurbished antique pieces. Other pieces sold in Homewood Antiques are ready for their purchaser to fix them up and show them off.
When you make such a purchase, owner Chris Collins bids you farewell with one request: “Make sure you send us pictures showing what you do with this piece!”

Charlotte Woodsen

Charlotte Woodson is a local antique store nestled in Mountain Brook Village that offers high-end antiques.
Owner Dinah Toro buys most of her products in France. She is available to answer any questions you may have about antiquing along with her dog, Mr. Foxie.
Although he isn’t for sale, shoppers can find almost anything else in Charlotte Woodson including books, pictures, large furniture and home décor.
The atmosphere of the shop is conducive to getting lost in a beautiful store while hunting for items with a rich history.

By Stevi Sappenfield

Photos by Kaitlin Bitz and Stevi Sappenfield