The Most Beautiful Books; Classic Collectable Edition

Maisie Jane Garvin

Literature has been a staple throughout history, entertaining the masses with an assortment of stories and memorable images. Classics have withstood the test of time, through their words and numerous editions. Maisie highlights four collectable editions below.

We are always told to not judge a book by its cover. Yet when it comes to choosing editions of books to collect, judging a book by its cover is actually a necessity. Collectable editions can be an expensive venture and it can be overwhelming to know where to start and what to go for. It is important that the book is a beautiful addition to a home library and that the editions stand against the test of time. Below are four collectable editions of the classics that every bookworm should consider.

First are the Chiltern Classics collectables. Although a recent company established only in 2018, their books are beautiful and timeless. The publishing company’s inspiration came from wanting to recreate traditional classics in the 21st century so, their covers are a mix of tradition and the latest printing techniques. All the books reflect the size and format of the original Jane Austen books which is a huge pull for lovers of Austen towards these collectables. The novels can be bought on their own or with a matching handcrafted journal as a gift set, which ranges from £15-£25. With sparkling guilt edges, creamy pages and stitched binding they make the most beautiful collection to begin buying.

One of the most popular collectable editions of books is the Penguin clothbound classics. They were designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, who stated that the books allowed her to explore my obsession to create beautiful, timeless artefacts for people to enjoy, cherish and pass on.” These novels always stand out in bookshops and on shelves with their custom pattern cover designs, linen cases, coloured endpaper and ribbon markers. Currently, there are more than 60 titles available to buy in this collection meaning that there is a guarantee one of your favourite classics will be published already. Penguin Random House are currently selling three of these books for £33, which is a great way to start off the collection.

The most affordable option of this list is the Wordsworth editions of the classics which sell from £6.99. Although cheaper than the other options, these books are still sophisticated and striking. A huge perk is that your collection may be able to grow faster with less investment. The hardbacks are cloth-bound, similar to those published by Penguin, with matching coloured endpapers, embossed gold, and coloured blocking to enhance their cover illustrations. Wordsworth can be applauded for creating high-quality books but at a substantially lower price than other publishers. You can also buy the classics from Wordsworth from as affordable as £2.50 in a paperback version, which aren’t as high in quality as a collectable edition – but are still beautifully designed and perfect for university students who have a huge list of required books to buy!

Finally, there is the Everyman’s Library classics which are perhaps the least well-known collectables on this list. These hardbacks are printed on acid-free; cream wove paper with sewn full cloth bindings and a silk ribbon marker, making them incredibly elegant looking.

A huge pull towards investing in this collection is that each work contains a substantial introduction by major scholars and contemporary writers, which when reading a classic can be extremely helpful. Another unique feature of these books is that the spines are colour coded to which period of history the novel was written, for example, scarlet is the contemporary classics whilst navy is for works from the 20th century. The books range in price but the average is around £11 for a novel.

Maisie Jane Garvin

Featured Image courtesy of  Ed Robertson via Unsplash. Image use license found here. No changes made to this image.

In article images courtesy of Chiltern Publishing, Penguin Classics, Wordswoth Edition, Everyman’s Library via Instagram. No changes made to these images.

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