It all started in a bookstore, last year autumn as the dappled sunlight tenaciously tore through the clouds, highlighting the golden leaves that danced amidst the air crystallised with frost. Among the divine smell of dusty, leather-bound books, there wandered a young girl, with eyes sparkling as her fingers stroked the spines of the books she called her friends. Stopping in the classic section that smelt of history, love, indigo tears and golden smiles, a book that mirrored the colour of the sky outside, captured her attention. A cloth bound copy of Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte, with a black etched picture of the moors and a desolate Cathy featuring on the cover. The girl was captivated and immediately swooped the copy into her arms and adopted it, placing it lovingly on her bookshelf and feeling a sensation of utter joy dance through her whenever she looked at it.
That girl was me (I apologise for the descriptive little short story piece there but creativity struck) and the copy of Wuthering Heights was the book which left me spellbound. It was the Reader's Digest, World's Best Reading edition, only £2 and I had fallen completely in love with it. I then went to the bookstore a few months later and I saw a whole crate of those editions and I fell in love yet again, floating on a cloud of paper and ink fantasies as I carried them against my heart and made place for them on my bookshelf.
Ever since then I've been set on collecting these gorgeous editions, not only because I think they could rival the beauty of Sam Claflin, but because they're books that have been loved by a huge amount of previous generations and by reading them it's as if you're connected to those people somehow, who held the book and wept and laughed and had their lives miraculously altered by the fragment of heaven that had fallen into their hands.
So far I have copies of Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham. I haven't read any of them yet, but once I have my review pile under control I'll open up the book and let the words speak to me and hopefully I'll fall in love with what they have to say.
Each book has its title in a gold coloured font (generally) on the spine, there are stunning watercolour or ink paintings hidden among the ivory pages and simple, yet beautiful covers! I absolutely love these books so much and I'm so happy I stumbled upon them. Now, I just have to make time to read my new friends!
Don't you agree that these editions are gorgeous? Do you like classics? Have you read any of these? What's your favourite classic? Do tell!