Thursday, 3 November 2011

Pick up a Penguin

Some may know that my dayjob is in audiobooks, and I truly believe they have a place in the world. When you're stuck on the tube, with your nose in someone's armpit, and you simply couldn't hold a real book up in front of your face, I love to close my eyes and listen to someone tell me a story. When the narration is good - and you have to hope it will be when publishers are deciding who should perform a book, it's a missing link between book and film. It's more than a book, because it's totally dependent on the narrator suiting the job and doing it well. As with a movie, the story might be great, but if the actors don't do it justice, you may never get to the end of it. (I highly recommend The Help as a great example of story and brilliant performance, if you're interested.)

All of that said, audiobooks will never replace a physical book for me. They aren't for the same thing at all. Picking up a 'real' book is for when I have some time, half an hour of silence and comfort in which I can totally indulge myself - happens less often these days...

And let's not forget the beauty that is a book cover, like album covers, book covers are a whole art form in themselves. Whether tactile, clever or simply gorgeous to look at, I am totally guilty of regularly judging, and buying, books by their cover.

Penguin have been creating iconic book covers for years, and this fabulous range  of Clothbound Classics caught my eye while in Tales on Moon Lane*.  Each individually designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, these are all of the above: wonderfully tactile, brilliantly clever and totally fabulous to look at. Enough to make me ponder on how I might find time (or justification simply to display) these classics.

And as we're on a trip to look at Penguins, check out these wonderful covers on a range of F. Scott Fitzgerald hardbacks, also designed by Bickford-Smith to mark the 70th anniversary of Fitzgerald's death. I'd love these as wallpaper!

Inner Cover of The Great Gatsby
all images courtesy

*The most divine children's bookshop in SE London. I cannot leave without spending money, and yes, friends with children, this is why you always get books from Auntie Sara.

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