Wednesday, February 2, 2011

For the love of books...

I love books... I dream of a day when I can have a whole room dedicated to them... floor to ceiling bookshelves... it doesn't have to be a big room... I envisage one like the one here from Iris's house in 'The Holiday'... Oh, to dream...
Anyhoo, in anticipation of getting said room, I just can't resist buying pretty books to adorn the shelves. Now, don't judge, it's not all about aesthetics, I love to read them, too. Although, I did read a lot more prior to the little ones joining me. These days though, my literary exploration is limited to the latest Julia Donaldson offering (at the moment, the kids are in love with 'The Wizard and the Princess'... I have to say I'm quite partial to it, too)...

Where was I? Ahh, yes, books... so, last year when I was browsing through Anthropolgie, my eye immediately locked onto the stack of pretty books on an oh-so-beautiful-table.
Penguin Classics had brought out hardback versions of their classics... all prettied up with a clothbound cover designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.... Needless to say, my heart skipped a beat and these were promptly added to my 'Wish List' (you know, the one as big as the Magna Carta).

Then I went to England and found that there were even more titles in the series... double skip, clicking heals in joy... So, over the course of the year, my hubby and various family members have helped me build this collection up...

They are all good fodder for the old brain and are pretty to look at too... I'm currently ploughing through 'Tess of the D'urbervilles'...  and it's so nice to revisit these old classics without having to write an essay afterwards... I'm not sure whether Penguin will keep releasing new titles with this make-over. I hope they do... I'd love to see Evelyn Waugh's 'Vile Bodies' or 'Brideshead Revisited'... especially after the success surrounding 'Downtown Abbey'...

... and, so my question to you is, which classic would you like to see prettied up? Come on lurkers, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Great designs on those books! I enjoy reading too, when I have time. I can polish off a book in a day if it's of real interest to me.

  2. A girl after my own heart! I adore books and my dream would be to have a home library. I have many of my granfather's and great grandfather's books (photo on my new header). Those cloth bound books that you're collecting are lovely.
    I can't resist a Jane Austen pretty. I can't tell husband how many versions I have bought over the years! Oooh,just gone weak at the knees when I spotted the Sense and Sensibility one here. You can't beat a hardcover classic can you?

  3. Stacks of books here. But mine aren't as pretty as yours! Deciding whether to get a Kindle, or not. Just can't beat the feel of a book in your hands and actually turning the pages.

  4. Love books too!! Interestingly many blogger do, I'm sure there's a correlation.
    Julia Donaldson is very popular around these parts, and I don't seem to read for 'me' much these days. I'm getting back to it, as little babies and sleep deprivation meant I strayed.. :)
    Wouldn't a library room be wonderful?!! I can smell it now.

  5. Oooh, you have got a wonderful collection going there. I'd love to own a pretty version of The Secret Garden and How Green Was My Valley,two real favorites of mine!

  6. Hello - wow these look great - I too and a complete sucker for all things book. I wrote my dissertation on Bronte so that's a favourite - but also Sylvia Plath...dark and melancholy. There is just nothing like a good book! Lou x

  7. I've seen those pretty Penguin books online but haven't really seen them here in Australia. I'd love to get my hands on the Little Women one and wish they'd bring out one of The Secret Garden - two childhood faves x

  8. Love all of your beautiful books! Such a beautiful collection! Hope your week has been lovely!
    Laura c x

  9. oh how lovely and pretty and educational to boot!!

    i would have said Little Women...of which we gave to Ella for christmas {sans gorgeous cover i am upset to say!!} and have they done Emma by Jane Austen??
    that was my absolute favourite and best Austin at HS....

    lucky gal- keep them on that present track!!
    melissa xxx

  10. Oh Laura, I've always wanted an old fashioned library, complete with one of those tall ladders...and I have certainly seen some beauties here in England (like the Duke of Bedford's shack for instance)...perhaps one day when I'm old and grey and we have a spare room. I love your collection of books, they look lovely and vintagy! Robx

  11. Oh, squeal! Laura, they are just divine. Now I have to hop onto Booko to see if I can get my mitts on some. Hmm, maybe 'The Secret Garden' and 'Emma'. J x

  12. Those books have really great covers! I laughed at your comment about not having to write an essay afterwards! - there are certain books I can't go near, although they're probably good, because they were exam texts! Thanks for your comment on my blog - yes, small amounts of tiling seem easy - though I don't use a spirit level, etc! I wouldn't want to do, say, a shower aera!

  13. Have seen these gorgeous books around and about but have no room at the moment to buy any more books!

    My bookshelves have had to make room for piles of pretty fabric at the moment, I suppose both are great to look at :)

    Bee happy x

  14. Hi, you're a girl after my own heart. I dream of a room with bookshelves piled high. I also love the smell of books, old and new. I have a need to bury my head in and give a big sniff!!! LOVELY!
    Glad you like the tea packaging from M&S. I work in the packaging studio there and we have such a talented bunch of designers who are so passionate about packaging. I'll put the kettle on xx

  15. I just love the post, and your blog :) from now on I'm your follower :)

    Have a great day sweetie!

  16. Well, of course I would
    love any of the Austen or
    Bronte books gussied up in
    one of these gorgeous bindings....
    And when thinking of American
    classics, how about Gone With
    The Wind or To Kill a Mockingbird?
    The Thorn Birds is also an
    excellent modern classic....
    So many books, so little time
    to read them all! I'm poised
    to begin The Middle Place. I
    DO remember all the cozy book-
    reading-together days {not so
    very long ago}! My daughter
    and I read A Secret Garden together,
    as well as Anne of Green Gables...
    {Are you listening, Penguin Books??}
    My son and I scaled Sherlock Holmes
    and a few of the Hardy Boys, among
    others. Love, love my books : )
    Now, off to add to that wish list....
    xx Suzanne

  17. Well I had to go on Amazon first to make sure that the book I would love to see with one of those lovely covers hadn't already been done! But it hasn't - so one of my favourite books is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier I could keep reading it over and over again, and always find something new about each character. One of my other favourite books is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett as a little girl I just loved it, perhaps I should read it again! great books Laura, you have really got me thinking now.

  18. Some years ago, I used to subscribe to the British Folio Society. They produced books in small quantities, hand bound, in beautifully designed linen jackets. This series from Anthropologie reminds me about those Folio books.
    I am not sure what books are included in the Anthropologie collectino, but I would like to see Alice in Wonderland, Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of a dog), Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austin, Henry James to name just a few.

  19. Anything by Charles Dickens or perhaps an edited volume of Keats' poetry.


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