I’ve always had a soft spot for beautiful books. Bright covers, deckle-edge pages, crisp dust jackets, engravings, illustrations… there are a thousand ways to make a gorgeous book, and they are why I will buy the hardcover over the ebook every time.
Have I ever purchased a book just because it was beautiful? Well, I have to want the actual copy between the covers; I don’t own a book I wouldn’t actually read. But there have been many times that I’ve purchased a book I already have just because the design was so lovely. I’m most guilty of this with Jane Eyre, my favorite book: I have 29 different editions of Jane Eyre (don’t laugh!).
I’m always growing my toolkit of editing resources, including reference books. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is next on my list, and while I’m building my reference library, why not choose the most beautiful editions? This illustrated edition (with work by Maira Kalman) from Penguin fits the bill.
Which to choose: the cherry-red hardcover or the whimsical softcover? Regardless, I love the pretty illustrations.
It all seems wonderfully over-the-top for a somewhat dry (but oh-so-useful) little writing manual. I think I’m in love.
What do you think? Any beautiful books you’ve fallen for lately?