Book by its cover

So this week, Orion Publishing Group is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with a big blowout party and a series of commemorative paperback reissues designed by talented sculptor Ben Twiston-Davies. From Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind, to Simon Sebag-Montefiore’s Stalin, Twiston-Davies has designed a sculpture for twenty of the greatest and most iconic commercial publications to have emerged from Orion in the past two decades. And they’re all made out of china – the traditional twenty-year anniversary gift. Nice!

Over the past few years some incredibly beautiful series have been published to commemorate anniversaries, authors, or just amazing literature. I love a good series, because it turns wonderful writing into desirable ‘objets d’art’. So here are a couple of my favourites…

Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Classics (Barnes & Noble)
Hot off the press – yet another drool-worthy series from across the pond. I love how ostentatious these books are, with gorgeous endpapers, marker ribbons, and in many cases sprayed edges. What makes these books even more special is that these particular ones were illustrated by none other than our very own, Kate Forrester, who designs book covers and other delightful things. Rumour has it there are more of her beautiful, intricate illustrations adorning B&N classics, coming out very soon!

The Great Food Series (Penguin)
A lovely set of covers by designer Coralie Bickford-Smith: These essential classics for food lovers comprise of some of the greatest culinary writing in the past four hundred years and the designs are as mouthwatering as the content. My particular favourite – for both title and illustration – has to be A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig by Charles Lamb.

Penguin Clothbound Classics (Penguin)
These hardbacks are so unutterably gorgeous that once you own one you’ll want to collect the lot – believe me! Another divine series by Ms Bickford-Smith, this collection is chock-a-block full of those classics you can read time and time again, But with covers like these you probably won’t be lending them to your friends!


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