This is the first post of in my “Simple Pleasures Series,” which feature items that bring me a disproportionate amount of joy for the expense or amount of effort they require. I hope that they inspire you to brighten your day as well! First up… Postcards. They are a wonderful way to break the monotony of someone else’s day, to inexpensively fill your living space with art, or to just pack away in a box to peruse on a rainy weekend.

During the massive downsizing that occurred before we moved, I unearthed boxes of postcards that have been zigzagging across the country with me for years. Lately I’ve had a lot time on my hands and find myself missing people from back East, so I’ve been making an effort to finally use these cards for their intended purpose. (My secondary motivation is that I feel like getting rid of them totally gives me permission to refresh my collection!)

If you feel inspired to start your own postcard stash, I’ve written a guide highlighting my favorite places to stock up:

1. Art museum gift shopsI first began collecting postcards after a class field trip to The Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville. Museum shops are such amazing places to acquire unique items. Always make sure to save enough time during museum visits to hit the gift shop!!

2. Book stores My absolute favorite postcards have come from used book stores, such as Tsunami in my new town of Eugene, OR, Half Priced Books in Houston, TX, or McKay’s in Knoxville, TN. There is almost always a rotating display near the register which often feature local artists or photographers.

3. Etsy This is a newly discovered postcard resource for me, but I LOVE it. So many talented artists and photographers offer smaller, much less expensive versions of their prints. My tactic is usually buying a set and sending out all but my very favorite one. I recently purchased three from seller Lupen Grainne, who I cannot recommend enough. The photo quality and content are gorgeous, as was her packaging, which is such an appreciated touch. I even received a free bookmark with my order, which I really needed for my book challenge. I look forward to ordering one of her larger travel prints as soon as I can pick one– she has hundreds of amazing photographs to choose from!

4. Antique shops This is for a slightly different sort of postcard collection of mine. I like to display the messages on the backs of vintage postcards. You can usually also find blank ones that were never sent, but I enjoy reading the personal notes. Every once in a while, I luck out and find one covered in lipstick!

Do you collect postcards? If so, where do you like to buy them?