Thursday, 3 March 2011

World Book Day!

Today is World Book Day! A personal favourite of ours, perhaps only to be topped by International Women's Day next week.
To do our bit in promoting this great day, we decided to take a closer look at the benefits and, one might say, wonders of antique books. After all, isn't every booklover also a collector?

While buying and sharing antique or vintage books could be seen as the ultimate recycling, one can't deny the importance and value of investing in new titles, supporting bookshops and writers. Still, there is a reason why uber-publisher Penguin and the likes are reprinting whole collections of classics with their dated, yet iconic cover designs: we want to be told and reminded of the histories of our books, their covers' artistic metamorphosis (good and bad) and the publisher's reason and sometimes struggle to publish them.

Example of the original cover design revived for the Penguin Classics series.

Another classic design that marks an era for the publisher.

The beauty of books is - although the writing itself is available in ever-new and interesting packaging - they don't just get older or used up; each publication is part of and adds to the history and life of a title, telling its own story as well as the story of its environment.

Penguin's fantastic 1970's Evelyn Waugh series.

In contrast: a 1945 first edition of Brideshead Revisited...

...and a bold 1930's edition of Vile Bodies.

In conclusion, this World Book Day we'd like you to join us in the appreciation of old and new, by being part of the story of a book: give a book, get a book, share a book, love a book. Or two.

'East West Antiques' in Alfies

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