Covet: Clothbound

Have you seen these new clothbound editions from Penguin Classics?

Penguin’s strategy for marketing these editions is pretty interesting.  On its website, Penguin writes:

If, like us, you not only love having a great Classic to read but also cherish the feel of a wonderful object, then these are the books for you. Bound in cloth and each individually designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, these are some of the best Classics ever written and make the perfect gift for anyone looking for a great read, whilst adding plenty of style to your bookshelf.

Clearly Penguin is addressing a post-eBook world.  Its copy emphasizes the style and display of books: their tactile and visually aesthetic properties.  Which may be one possible model for the future of print books.  (But perhaps one better suited to classics than books by new, contemporary writers.)

Regardless, these editions are beautiful.  And while I’m sure the annotations aren’t nearly as good as in my excellent Broadview editions, a couple of the Jane Austen covers are lovely.  Overall, I think the best designs are for Persuasion and The Odyssey.

Which design do you like from this line?

(You can find the Penguin Clothbound Classics at Strand here, where I originally spotted them.)


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