There is something sexy about hardcovers, and the ones that Coralie Bickford-Smith designed are perhaps the sexiest hardcovers ever produced. I own a lot of classics in paperbacks but I am more than willing to collect these hardcovers. Maybe they can be equated to literary baseball cards. I’ll trade you a Cranford for a Sense & Sensibility. I first got wind of these hardcover redesigns about a year ago when they were only available in Waterstone’s in England. From there they were available in Canada and finally the United States. After querying Ms. Bickford-Smith I realize that these covers are not simply switching a picture or packaging a product to meet a wider demographic; this is literary cover design for the sake of literature. Ms. Bickford-Smith has carefully chosen symbols that allude to a character or underlying theme in each of the novels. I was desperate to see these books in the cloth, and lucky for me, I found them displayed in a local Borders Books and Music. When I told my dear friend and literary mentor about this set she wondered about the typeset-I am thoroughly embarrassed to say that due to being rushed I could not pick the books up and explore them. I did, however, get pictures of most of the set’s covers.
If you query Coralie Bickford-Smith on Google you will find many informative interviews and can even track the buzz about these classics to late 2008.
Curled Up With A Book features all of the classics she designed and has the best pictures that I could find. You can find most of the classics available for purchase on Amazon but Waterstone’s has the most extensive inventory.
Seeing as my favorite book is Wuthering Heights I will probably start my collection by purchasing that and then move on to the others.
Is it totally wrong that I salivate over these on a daily basis? What do you think?