I was in The Works earlier today. You know The Works: the discount bookstore chain, which also sells stationery, world maps and various super-cheap nicknacks. The one I went into today, in Harrogate, was selling plastic mini-skateboards. It also held an extensive stock of misery memoirs; proof, perhaps, that this ghastly genre is finally on the way out?
Anyway, I was quite pleased with what I found there. Nestled amongst the tat, I found a pile of these:
Recognise it? It’s a special edition Penguin Classic, bound in luxury leather by none other than super-chic leather designer Bill Amberg. (He makes those lavish baby papooses for A-List offspring.) Each book comes wrapped in tissue paper in its own presentation box, and retails at an eyewatering £50.00.
The official blurb:
Bill has chosen six of his favourite modern novels for their enduring and cosmopolitan style, and bound them in the softest, rich brown calves’ leather. The leather has been specially worked so that the more each book is handled the better protected and more beautiful it becomes. It is a fresh and innovative use of leather – a traditional material ordinarily associated with hardback volumes – used here as a pliable binding for paperbacks.
The books in the series include two of my favourite novels: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. The other titles are A Room With A View by E.M. Forster, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.
These tomes are sensory overload for book geeks. The leather is indeed silky-soft, and smells divine; the paper is thick and creamy. Put that in your Kindle and smoke it, Bezos.
Best of all, these books are all on sale at The Works, slashed in price from £50.00 each to £6.00! A steal. I’m still deciding which ones to go for – but I had better make my mind up quickly, before you lot get there!
Of course, I can’t guarantee that the Bill Amberg editions are available from all branches of The Works; at the time of writing, they aren’t available on the chain’s website. If you can’t find them in your local branch, you can also purchase them from the Penguin website for a reduced price of £20.00 each – not as good as £6.00, but still a bargain.