Starting a Book Collection From the Inside Out

Starting a Book Collection From the Inside Out

From Meaningful Narratives to Beautiful Objects
From Meaningful Narratives to Beautiful Objects

I t is a truth universally acknowledged that we all have a favorite book. Inspiring written works resonate with our personal lives and experiences. For some, it’s a classic coming of age piece, like Catcher in the Rye or Lord of the Flies, that changes how we situate our relationships with others. For different readers seeking a world of adventure, Moby Dick or The Count of Monte Cristo might grasp the raw feeling of an exciting enterprise. Through a sensitive grouping of these narratives that shape our core, there is an intrinsic elaboration on the nature of beauty.

The Klemscott Press's The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, 2009.

This William Morris reproduction of Chaucer’s collection was created as a rare limited-edition piece and features favorites like The Canterbury Tales. The work is bound in fine cream genuine leather with a bright gilt spine title. There is gilt text blocking, marble endpapers and silk ribbon, which all contribute to the conversation between reader and object. William Morris, known for his focus on the nature of well-made handcrafted objects, looked often to books. To match the beauty within, Morris would reproduce collections with intricate embellishment. The spines, covers and printed interiors are designed to create one total work of art. To re-experience the object is to re-experience the story within.

The Complete Poems of Robert Frost, Limited Editions Club, 1950.

The poetry of Robert Frost is sensitive and subtle. It indelibly frames the human experience and calls upon the reader to form connection with their surroundings. The Complete Poems of Robert Frost is bound in two parts and housed in a marbled slipcase. This limited-edition print is presented with gilt titles across the spines. This small collection mirrors the intimacy of Frost’s poetry itself.

Cervantes, The History of the Ingenius Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, Late 19th Century.

Cervantes’ Don Quixote is episodic in its nature, which is reflected in the form of this version of its publication. The four-volume set is bound in soft Morocco leather with gilding on its top edges. The twisting gold emblems entangling the spine cause the viewer to reflect on Don Quixote’s winding adventures within.

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allen Poe, The Colonial Co. 1903.

It would be hard to forget the mysterious spine-tingling tales of Edgar Allan Poe. With scarlet and gilt bindings, this set brings stories like “The Gold Bug” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” to life. This print is a rare limited edition and features over 50 illustrations. Published in the very early 20th century, the set is bound in luxurious Morocco leather with marbled boards and endpapers. The poetic spirit of the writing, coupled with the elaborate 10-piece set, make clear the impact of Poe’s curious narratives.

Many great authors find their way into our lives and onto our bookshelves. The marriage of narrative and object can be found through beautiful and intuitive approaches to the stories within. By grouping books from significant intersections of our lives, we can find our personal histories chronicled with attractive interior objects.

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