Thursday, December 17, 2009

Books to Gift: Clothbound Beauties, Congolese Dandies, and Fancy Dictionaries

It seems that with every holiday gift I buy for someone else, I've also been picking up a little something (or two) for myself. This year, I've gone book crazy. Though my little bookshelf is already bursting with titles I decided I mustn't live without, and a pile stacked precariously on the radiator threatens to spill over at any moment, I couldn't resist picking up these lovely tomes.

I've decided that classics look best clothbound, in a manner befitting the era of their original printing. Penguin Classics continues to turn out lovely versions of some of the worlds most celebrated works. Designed by Coralie Bickford Smith, they're as pretty as they are transporting. I picked up The Picture of Dorian Gray, Great Expectations, Sense and Sensibility, and Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Since I read these several times over as a teen, I wanted them purely for sentimental value. Due to space constraints, perhaps I'll stack them under a bedside lamp in the new room (I'm pretty sure y'all are sick of hearing about things I'm going to do in said new room, and I haven't even moved in yet). They're usually $20 a pop at bookstores or specialty stores like Anthropologie, though they can often be found for less on


I also got a few of these brightly colored paperbacks from the Harper Perennial Fifty-Two Stories collection. $10 each. They feature some of the lesser known (but totally amazing) short stories from literary greats such as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Oscar Wilde.

And some to covet:

I came across this one on Paul Smith's very awesome blog. Gentlemen of Bacongo is a collection of photographs of some of the dapperest dandies you've ever seen, all of whom reside in the Brazzaville district of the same name in the Congo. $30.92 @

I'm in love with these colorful leather bound dictionaries. Hot pink, anyone? You can choose to have them monogrammed, too. $170 @ Ballard Designs. Pick from brown, pink, yellow, and gold. Sadly, the beautiful robin's egg blue is no longer available.

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