Who doesn’t like to have their shelves full of books with matching spines and covers? There is something extremely appealing about a collection of books whose covers share the same specific elements, style, or design. Books within a collection, or series, can either have all been written by the same author or by different authors who share certain characteristics, such as having lived within the same time period or having penned similar books in terms of genres and themes.
Whenever publishers announce a new collection of books with highly appealing covers, I always do some research to know more about the plots and the authors’ writing styles. I may feel like buying plenty of books from a given collection, but I usually only tend to really do so if I’m also interested in the story. Throughout the years, there have been a few collections that I bought books from.
At the moment, the most predominant one on my shelves is the Penguin English Library collection of classics. I do love the stripy spines and the simply but beautifully illustrated book covers. I find the little drawings placed throughout the covers quite charming. I’ve written a post solely on this series some time ago. You can read it here, in case you want to know more about it.
Daphne du Maurier is an author who I’ve only discovered at the beginning of last year, but whose books I’m eager to read. I would like to own almost all of them in the Virago Modern Classics editions. Not the ones with the really dark cover, though. The ones I adore have her name on the top (always in the same font) and the title beneath in a different design. They have stripes on the spines and illustrations on the covers which are loosely connected with the plot.
I currently don’t own more than one edition of the same book. And I only plan to buy a second one of books that I’ve read in translation, but that I also want to read in the original version. This is the case of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Fortunately, this will allow me to add to my shelves another book from the Vintage Classics Austen series. The illustrations on the covers are stunning and I love that they have French flaps.
For the same reason, I also really like the Vintage Classics Woolf series. The beautiful covers are an added impetus for me to give a second chance to Virginia Woolf, after struggling with Orlando.
The Porto Editora’s newest editions of José Saramago’s books are quite simple and are not among my favourite book covers by themselves, but they look wonderful as a group. Although I don’t think they are marketed as a series, I look at them as a collection, since the covers follow a pattern. All the books have their titles written in the handwriting of a different author or artist on a single colour cover.
Finally, when it comes to collections that I already own some books from, I have to mention the Puffin Chalk series. The covers feature gorgeous chalk illustrations. I don’t tend to read children’s and middle grade books. However, this series of classics is quite tempting.
There are some collections or series that I don’t own any books from yet, but that are so beautiful that I would like to buy some of them in the future. These are: the Virago Modern Classics 40th Anniversary Series; the Vintage Classics Russian Series; the Penguin Women Writers; and the Roads Classics.
Do you own any books from these editions or collections? Tell me in the comments!