Leather bound collectible books

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7 Websites to Find Beautifully Bound Books You Would Love to Own

Whether it's the style of the cover illustration, the material of the binding, or the staggering attention to detail, a beautifully bound book can create an atmosphere that's uniquely special.

Here are seven websites where you can find beautifully bound books:

1. The Folio Society

For over 70 years, The Folio Society has been delivering stunning editions of prominent books, both fiction and non-fiction.

The Folio Society uses a variety of different illustrators across their books to perfectly capture the tone, style, and attention to detail of the book in question. This creates a diverse range of beautifully bound books, each containing a set of unique illustrations.

With a finite supply as well as their exclusive and incredibly detailed Limited Editions, it's common for The Folio Society books to run out of stock. Therefore, if there's an edition you've had your eye on that's out of stock it may be worth checking Ardis Books, who specialize in rare and out-of-print Folio titles as well as theseonline alternatives to buying from Amazon.

Related: Online Alternatives to Buying Books from Amazon

The Folio Society's consistency and quality among a range of genres and art styles mean that, whatever book or style you're looking for, there will be something that'll catch your eye.

2. Barnes & Noble

They are one of the most popular and renowned booksellers today, with millions of books to choose from. Barnes & Noble has some excellent editions, namely in their B&N Leatherbound Classics and Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions sections.

Both these sections offer unique and picturesque editions of prominent books spanning multiple genres that are as decorative as they are durable.

With a comprehensive display of eye-catching books for all ages and interests, a Barnes & Noble edition may well be the next book to add to your bookshelf.

3. Penguin Books

Another prominent bookseller, this time in the UK, Penguin Books has been at the forefront of publishing since the 1930s, bringing high-quality literature to the mass market.

Penguin Books features two wondrous sections of beautifully bound books. The first is Penguin Clothbound Classics, a series of 85 hauntingly beautiful clothbound hardbacks designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Comprising some of the best-known works in fiction, many of these books feature cover images that are unique to look at yet still maintain the same essence within their design.

There are 3 boxed sets here, featuring the works of The Brontë Sisters, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen. Also included are more continental works, such as John. D Smith's abridged translation of The Mahabharata and The Journey to the West, one of the 4 great classical novels of Chinese literature.

The second is Puffin Clothbound Classics, a selection of 10 books from Penguin Books' children's imprint. 7 of these clothbound classics contain gorgeous cover designs that appeal to both children and adults alike, making them perfect additions to the family library.

4. Canterbury Classics

Specializing in—you guessed it—classics, Canterbury Classics offers a mix of clothbound and leatherbound books, including 5 complete boxed sets, perfect for any gifting occasion.

Canterbury Classics also include illustrated clothbound editions of classics such as Black Beauty, Peter Pan, and Wizard of Oz as well as offering small collections of modern editions of poetry books, newly illustrated graphic novels, and inspirational journals.

The leatherbound books here are particularly special as they are beautifully presented and formatted, with lush covers and gilded pages. Their books include collections of works by prominent authors such as H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as compilations like Classic Works from Women Writers.

5. Chiltern Publishing

Chiltern Publishing offers a limited but powerful range of classics, each bound with distinctly ornate covers that reflect their style.

These books stand out due to their beautiful binding and striking covers and are just as elegant to read as they are to behold.

Chiltern Publishing also offers handcrafted journals that match the style of their classics, making them a perfect bundle to buy for yourself or as a gift package.

6. Easton Press

Easton Press features a range of premium leatherbound books with gilded pages accented with 22kt gold across a variety of genres.

These stunningly bound books focus on the intricacy and minimalism of the covers, though there are some amazingly detailed cover illustrations on many of them. What you get is an incredibly sleek and elegant book that oozes charm.

In addition to their individual books, the Easton Press features full collections such as Tolkien's Classics (The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings trilogy, and The Silmarillion), The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and all of Jane Austen's fully completed novels. Easton Press also has signed editions of a limited number of books.

If any of the books on Easton Presses shelf is a particular favorite of yours, its addition to your library will be timeless.

7. Suntup Press

Started in 2016, Suntup Press is a relatively new press, featuring an extremely limited set of books with only a few publications per year.

For each publication, Suntup Press collaborates with "some of today's leading writers, artists, designers, printers and bookmakers to create an edition that is in itself, an art object".

These books are utterly spectacular. One look at their editions is enough to confirm that the quality of craftsmanship on display is second to none. These editions come in multiple formats, featuring individual books, numbered editions, and signed collector's editions.

While these usually go out of stock very quickly and can be quite expensive, it would be worth keeping an eye on Suntup Press in case the perfect edition of your favorite novel appears that you just can't pass up.

Where to Find Your Next Book

The good thing about each of these sites is that they all offer distinctly different covers and styles while maintaining a high quality of craftsmanship. You will look at a book differently when they are so nicely packaged, and these sites are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding your next book.

If you're searching for new book recommendations, we've rounded up some of the best sites for finding what books to read nextas well as the best books to read this year, which should prove helpful.

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Stella & Rose's Books

TRACTATUS DE HERBIS
Written by Minta Collins; Sandra Raphael.
Stock no. 1822573
Published by Folio Society. 1st thus 2002. Nearly fine condition.

Large format. This facsimile edition has been reproduced from the manuscript Egerton MS 747 in The British Library through digital photography by Laurence Pordes, and printed at The Bath Press, Glasgow, on Phoenix Motion Xenon paper. This edition of 1000 copies has been bound for the members of The Folio Society by Smith Settle of Otley in full goatskin leather, with leather onlays, over bevelled boards, blocked with a design by David Eccles, with handmade laid-paper endleaves from the Fabriano mill. Contained in a green solander box, with smaller separate 'Commentary' book by Minta Collins containing the list of plants by Sandra Raphael. This is copy 503 of 1000. A fine set contained in solander box which has a small black mark to top front corner and a few light score marks to rear. These faults on the box are very minor and do not show up in photos.

Buy now for £380.00 In basket » checkout Enquire about this book Enquire Add to Wish List

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TOURING my CLASSICS BOOKCASE!! (93 BOOKS) - Paiging Through

This is the first article in a series I will be doing on leather-bound books.

I’ve posted many times about the books I have read, and what I’ve learned from them, but today I want to talk about the way they look. Leather-bound books are books dressed in their best suit. They instantly make any bookshelf look more impressive. I have a modest collection of leather-bound books and it’s been enjoyable purchasing them.

There isn’t much information out there about how to go about purchasing leather-bound books. This will be a resource for those who are looking to purchase their first leather-bound books and to help explain the four main leather-bound book publishers.

Ther are four main entry-level leather-bound book publishers:

  1. Easton Press
  2. Folio Society
  3. Franklin Library
  4. Barnes and Noble

In the leather-bound book world, there are many opinions on which publisher is the best. I have tried to aggregate all opinions to explain the differences between the publishers, and to recommend which publisher might be best for you.

Before I talk about the publishers, I should probably clarify that these aren’t the very best leather-bound book publishers out there. True leather book collectors spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a single book. These collectors look for hand-crafted books with excellent leather, bindings, and designs. The publishers listed below are great publishers, and you can find excellent books, but for the most part, they are machine-made. 

Easton Press

Easton Press is probably the most well-known publisher of leather-bound books. The company has been going strong for almost 50 years now. All of Easton Press books are bound in genuine leather and have acid-free paper. Further, the spine and cover are usually stamped with fine 22k gold accents. They also have nice silk endpapers, which help to make the books feel more polished. The books look great.

While they publish “the classics”, they also publish more modern books and “coffee-table” type books. For example, they have recently added a Kobe Bryant commemorative leather-bound book. They also have many signature and deluxe editions. If signatures are important to you, then be sure to check out Easton Press.

My favorite Easton Press book I own is a signed-edition of Ender’s Game. It’s a beautiful book. In the pictures below, you can see the beautiful silk endpaper in Easton Press books.

  • Easton Press Signed Copy of Enders Game
  • Orson Scott Card Signed Enders Game
  • Easton Press Silk Endpaper

eBay has numerous Easton Press books for sale. You can also purchase them directly from the publisher. I have found the most success with buying these books directly on Amazon. A lot of times I will just search on Amazon for “Easton Press”, and scroll through the results to find my next purchase. Make sure to compare all sites before purchasing.

Folio Society

The Folio Society is a book publisher from London, which has been around for over 70 years. In recent years, they have become a fan favorite in the leather book world. Many consider their books the best craftsmanship you can find for reasonable prices. Folio Society books are favorites because they are durable, but they are also beautiful to look at. You can display these on your shelves, or read them!

All Folio Society books are bound in genuine leather and come with a nice slipcase to help protect your books. Folio Society also prints a lot of first editions. One complaint against Easton Press is that their older library is full of reprints. This means that they aren’t new editions. Whereas, with The Folio Society, you will find new versions, translations, and editions.

They also have the best website of the publishers. Their website is full of detailed information for each book, including what specific type of leather was used to bind the book.

Books published by The Folio Society hold their value well (more so than Easton Press and Franklin Library), so if you are interested in the investment aspect of leather-bound books then Folio Society is your best bet.

Again, eBay is your friend here! They do sell directly from their website too. 

Franklin Library

Unfortunately, Franklin Library shut down in 2000. But for almost 30 years they published an immense library of leather-bound classics. Frankin Library was set up as a subscription-based business that produced large collections, such as their 100 Greatest Books of All Time set. Customers would subscribe, and receive a book a month until the collection was complete.

Today, you can find Franklin Library books on eBay. A recent search for “Frankin Library Books”, had over fifteen thousand results. Many of the books can be purchased for under $15. It’s a great way to begin a leather book collection. However, serious book collectors don’t hold Franklin Library in high regard. For collectors, full-sets and mint condition books are very important with the Franklin Library.

Also be cautious because Franklin Library produced three different styles of books: genuine leather, quarter-leather binding, and bonded leather (imitation leather). Only the genuine leather versions are real leather books. For quarter bound books only the spine is leather, the rest of the cover is another material. The imitation versions of the books look like genuine leather books but are not. You are more likely to find a genuine leather version with older Franklin Library books.

Another one of my favorite leather-bound books is my copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Jailbird. This first edition was published in 1979! But it was manufactured so well that it feels like it could have been made yesterday. I can attest that this Franklin Library book feels great and is exceptional. In the pictures below, you can see the green silk endpaper, this endpaper feels thicker than my Easton Press books.

  • Signed Franklin Library Leather Bound Book
  • Leather-bound Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut

Along with eBay, I’ve also had a lot of success purchasing these on Amazon. Like Easton Press, you can click this link to see the search results on Amazon for “Franklin Press Leather Bound Books.”

Barnes and Noble 

If you’ve ever spent time in a Barnes and Noble, you’ve probably noticed their table of leather-bound books. I find that Barnes and Noble’s leather books are very colorful and fun to look at.

Most of these books can be purchased for less than $30. However, the quality is the lowest of the four publishers. The books are bound in genuine leather but are considered a lower-grade leather. Also, they aren’t necessarily built-to-last. But overall, they are still beautiful books. If you are just starting with leather-bound books, then Barnes and Noble might be your best option.

One of the pros of Barnes and Noble is that you can actually feel the books before you buy them.

Conclusion

All four of these publishers have great leather book options.

Here is a quick summary of the publishers:

PublisherQuick Summary
Easton Press- Most popular publisher
- All editions full genuine leather
- Great quality for the price
- Many reprints (not new editions)
Folio Society- Highest quality
- Excellent unique editions
- Best for collectors
- Hold their value better than the other publishers
Franklin Library- Good beginner option
- Plenty of cheap options on eBay
- Not all books are genuine leather
Barnes and Noble- Cheapest options
- Plenty of popular titles
- Lower quality
- Good beginner option

Write to me: [email protected]

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Books collectible leather bound

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My Barnes And Noble Leatherbound and Canterbury Classics Collection

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