Books are the gift that keep on giving.
Not only are the stories within them capable of transporting you to far off lands and through thrilling tales, but they are prized for their beauty as well.
Yes, we know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but come on, book covers matter. It's the reason why publishers constantly push out new editions of old books. If repackaged properly, an old book can become just as popular as a new one.
Moreover, book covers are actually, literally judged. There are competitions and awards for book cover design. So don't feel bad if you find yourself trading in an older copy of a classic novel for a newer, sleeker edition. We guarantee that you're not the only one doing it and we're here to help.
We've compiled some of the most stunning editions of classic novels you should think about adding to your bookshelf, because they are simply too beautiful not to buy. Some of them are from very limited runs and may be tough to find, but knowing they exist is the first step.
Welcome to your beautiful future library.
This edition of Dune is part of Penguin Random House's Penguin Galaxy collection, a celebration of some of the best sci-fi novels of our time. Other titles in the series include 2001: A Space Odyssey and Stranger in a Strange Land.
Price: $17.85 on Amazon
If you are unaware, Juniper Books specializes in taking some of your favorite books and wrapping them in exquisite book jackets, especially books sets. The above Harry Potter sets are just some examples of their work. As you can see, all Hogwarts Houses are represented so that you can make sure to get the set that fits your needs. But be warned that they are not cheap.
The editions of Pride and Prejudice that exist in the world are countless, but this one is the only one that matters. The book is part of the Faux Leather Edition series done by Penguin and includes many other classic novels as well.
If you're going to read a book about the Jazz Age, you might as well make sure the book looks like the Jazz Age. Penguin released a line of hardcover F. Scott Fitzgerald books all draped with beautiful gold foil designs that veritably scream of the Roaring '20s.
Perfectly capturing the tumult that is in both of Homer's classic tales, this Barnes & Noble Collectible Edition of both epic poems together make the stories look as cool as they deserve to be. The only downside of this version is how thick it is. While it looks good on the shelf, it may be impractical to actually read.
This small and stately copy of one of Jane Austen's classics was designed by Mr. Boddington Studio's. Unfortunately, this particular copy of the book is no longer being produced so if you must have this edition, you'll need to be willing to pay a hefty price to a reseller.
Price: $285.86+ from Amazon
Image: the folio society
You probably already have a copy of 1984, either from school or from buying it after the ascendency of our new president. But if you are still missing this Orwell classic in your life, why not get an edition that embodies the full-on creepiness of the story itself?
James Joyce isn't everything's favorite author, but a cover this beautiful will have no trouble at all ingratiating itself right onto your shelves. Added bonus: This book is also known as one of Joyce's most approachable novels, so you should actually try reading it instead of just looking at it.
Joseph Conrad's classic tale gets revived in this fully illustrated version of Heart of Darkness from Tin House. Now you not only can read about the horror, but you can see it too.
Just one of many gorgeous Penguin Clothbound Classics, this robust tale of adventure gets a more modern makeover with a cute pattern of elegant jellyfish. These will be hitting bookshelves in July, but can be pre-ordered online now.
It feels like every publisher has its own version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and this makes it difficult for those of us trying to find the absolutely best edition of the series, one that appropriately invokes the fantasy of the story while also looking beautiful on the shelf. Look no further than this Juniper Books set. Together, the spines of the three books come together to make the fabled Doors of Durin. Speak friend, and buy this set right away.
White's Books released an impeccably designed set of classic novels in 2010 that included this edition of Sherlock Holmes. The books were instantly popular among book lovers and were snatched up relatively quickly. Now that these books have stopped being produced, securing yourself a copy can be quite difficult and the price you'll need to pay varies depending on the third-party seller.
Price: $9.89+ on Amazon
Penguin Drop Caps, a series of 26 books that highlight one great author per letter in the alphabet, may be the most Instagrammable books ever created. The cover of each simply features the first letter of the author's last name, but each uniquely designed to fit the tone and context of the book. With a stately B for Bronte going up in flames, this book is the right way to read Jane Eyre.
Just in time for the TV adaption on Starz, this collector's edition of Neil Gaiman's popular novel puts all other editions of American Gods to shame. Illustrator David McKean created 12 incredible illustrations to accompany this version of the book, including three double-page spreads.
Here's another stunning boxed set that can only be purchased through third-party sellers, because nice-looking books are apparently in high demand. This clean and sophisticated book set for Arabian Nights is designed by the same person who does Penguin's Clothbound Classics series and the Fitzgerald series above.
Price: $499.75+ on Amazon
Colorful, whimsical, and cute, this edition of Anne of Green Gables would be right at home on both child and adult bookshelves. This book is part of the Puffin in Bloom series, a collection of four tales for children all designed with a similar theme of bright flowers and flowing typography.
Image: Penguin random house
Embrace the darkness with this edition of Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem, The Raven. Not only does it have a compelling cover, but the book is part of the Penguin Horror series which was curated by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. If he approved this edition, it's probably fit to go on your bookshelf.
As another perfect entry in the Penguin's Clothbound Classics series, this cover of The Count of Monte Cristo hints at the intrigue and drama this story is all about.
You could probably dedicate an entire bookshelf to different editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and you still wouldn't have enough room to fit them all. But it's hard not to want to collect them all because so many of them look so good, like this edition from Barnes & Noble's Collectible Edition Series.
Moby Dick is long. To attempt to read it is basically the literary version of hunting down Captain Ahab's infamous white whale. But the challenge of reading it seems less daunting if you are tackling the feat with this edition of the classic.
Price: $9.68+ on Amazon