15 Unique Book Editions That Make Perfect Gifts

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Isabelle Popp has written all sorts of things, ranging from astrophysics research articles and math tests to crossword puzzles and poetry. These days she’s writing romance. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably knitting or scouring used book stores for vintage gothic romance paperbacks. Originally from New York, she’s as surprised as anyone that she lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Giving books as gifts is a dicey endeavor. What if you get someone a book they already have? Or a book they’ve read and hated? If you know someone (including yourself!) has a collection of books, adding another edition of a beloved book is the perfect way to augment a collection. Some ways to do this are by seeking out first editions, signed copies, international editions, or even translations. Another way is to find collector’s editions.

This trend of collector’s editions may seem like a new thing, with book subscription boxes and retailers promising foiled covers and sprayed edges. In fact, there have been presses dedicated to making special editions of books for ages. The Kelmscott Press, founded in 1891 by the Arts and Crafts movement designer William Morris, is credited with bringing back attention to the art of bookmaking. Their elaborate, Gothic revival printings of classics like Beowulf and Chaucer’s works are spectacular. And, only 300 copies of each title were printed, so good luck getting your hands on one.

What Kinds of Collector’s Editions are Available?

Nowadays, you can find plenty of presses, bookbinders, and artists making beautiful objects out of books. Books in the public domain are available to print however you like. For books still under copyright, artists are getting into rebinding books and painting edges. You know how you can sell a book that belongs to you without violating copyright? You can tear the cover of a book, slap on a new one, and sell that bad boy, too. Side note: there are people questioning the ethics of the large profits artists can make on books for which authors receive so little compensation. Save that ire for the publishers who are stingy with authors rather than for the artists, if you ask me.

Back to the topic at hand. Ready to see some amazing editions of books? You’re in for a treat.

leather bound edition of the song of achillesleather bound edition of the song of achilles

The understated brown leather and black detailing of this edition of The Song of Achilles is classic. $170

cloth bound A Holly Jolly Diwalicloth bound A Holly Jolly Diwali

More contemporary romances should be clothbound with sprayed edges AND holographic foil. Snag A Holly Jolly Diwali for $55.

leather bound edition of twilightleather bound edition of twilight

It would be an incredible flex to have a library full of old leatherbound tomes, one of which is Twilight. $120

copy of babel with fore edge paintingcopy of babel with fore edge painting

Fore-edge paintings are a little bit mind-blowing, just like the book Babel, honestly. $199

Custom Dust Jackets

special dust jacket for divine rivalsspecial dust jacket for divine rivals

If you love foiled lettering, get a dust jacket for your copy of Divine Rivals with a beautiful rose gold color scheme. $30

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