On Saturday, after enjoying several cocktails, I went tipsy book shopping at my local independent bookstore here in Columbus (The Book Loft for you out-of-towners). Finding good books here can be hit or miss. Sometimes they’ll have tons of great unknown books stocked and sometimes the shelves will be a desert wasteland. One thing that The Book Loft does well though is stock awesome book reprints. They were the first place that I saw the now famous cloth-bound Penguin Classics and they also carry every copy of the Graphic Penguin Classics.
This time, I discovered White's Books, a not-so-new publishing venture co-run by David Pearson, who is a former designer for Penguin and was behind some of the more beautiful Penguin books like the Great Ideas series. Pearson simply wanted to reprint classics with good design as the main focus and when this concept finally came to fruition in late 2008, the book blog-o-sphere was atwitter and eventually the news even made its way to Apartment Therapy. With all that attention, I’m actually pretty surprised I hadn’t seen these before.
Everything down to the endpapers and typesetting is carefully considered, and Pearson had some of his favorite designers come up with the bold, stylized covers. They also have a blurb about the person that created the book cover on the paper belly band, which I thought was a really special touch and acknowledges the often underappreciated designer. These novels are large and luxurious and make my little bookish heart melt. I bought Sherlock Holmes, and promptly put the other 7 editions on my Christmas wish list *ahem*. You can buy them here.
The following titles are included in this reprint:
Emma – Jane Austen
Sherlock Holmes – His Greatest Cases – Arthur Conan Doyle
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Sonnets and Poems – William Shakespeare
The Christmas Books – Charles Dickens
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
According to The Fiction Desk, White’s Books will soon be publishing a series of Pocket Classics with covers illustrated by Joe McLaren. The white covers and embossed look are meant to convey a letterpress feel and I think they’re fantastic. I can’t wait for these to be available here in the U.S.! See what happens when you go tipsy book shopping? You discover an awesome new book publisher.