Books so gorgeous they just might turn me into a collector.

Books so gorgeous they just might turn me into a collector.

In Bloom collection Rifle Paper Co

I love books, but I’ve never been much of a collector.

Until now.

The universe is clearly conspiring to turn me into a collector of gorgeous classics.


Of course—like so many book lovers—I’ve always admired beautiful collections of classics. I adore the Penguin clothbound collection, and their Drop Caps series. Barnes and Nobles puts out a lovely classics collection, and I’m over the moon for anything from The Folio Society.

I could never decide on which series to start with, so I never did.

But recently, I’ve discovered several smaller collections that are so drool-worthy I had to snatch them up. Or at least add them to my Christmas list.

Anne of Green Gables Carmichael's

It started with this beautiful edition of Anne of Green Gables I saw at our local children’s bookstore. I was overcome with Book Lust.

Then I found out it was part of a small collection of classics done by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Company.

I came home and ordered the whole set.

Puffin in Bloom stacked

(After all, Jack was about to start Anne of Green Gables in school, and Sarah was about to start Heidi. We were already halfway there….)

Anne of Green Gables flyleaf

the inside cover of Anne of Green Gables. Anne and Diana! little picket fences for Josie Pye to walk! Gilbert Blythe!

But then.

Then I asked the library to send me The Blue Castle, because my copy is AWOL and I was itching for a re-read. (Two words: we moved.) The library fulfilled my request with this gorgeous new edition.

I was intrigued.

I did some digging, and found out the cover was done by Canadian artist Jacqui Oakley. She’d been commissioned to do new covers for The Blue Castle and several other L. M. Montgomery books, and they were released last April.

Montgomery covers

I want them all, but I only ordered Jane of Lantern Hill. My justification: it was the one book of the series I hadn’t read, even though several fans I know cite it as their favorite Montgomery novel. Despite their devotion, it had been out of print until these editions rolled off the presses last April. I’ve never read it, and the library doesn’t have it.

(Sometimes, a book nerd has to do what a book nerd has to do.)

I also discovered that Oakley was commissioned to do new covers for all the Anne books (well, all but Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside, which is a shame: I would love to see how she would draw Rilla!)

Oakley Anne of Green Gables

I’m still swooning over these, but I haven’t ordered them—yet. I’m still waiting for my Anne books to turn up. If they don’t, and maybe even if they do, I’m snatching up this collection for my personal bookshelves.

I would tell you I’m not really into “stuff,” and I’m not much of a collector, but reading—and displaying—these gorgeous classics has been all kinds of delightful. I’ve always said I’m not a book collector, but maybe that’s because I hadn’t met the right books. These small but perfect collections are making me change my mind.

Luckily, Christmas is coming. Because my wish list is filling up fast.

I know many of you are book lovers, and some of you are collectors. I’d love to hear your thoughts about collecting—the good, the bad, and the ugly—in comments. 

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  1. deborah says:

    I love these books too! You should not show them to me! 🙂 There’s nothing like a good book or a favorite book with a gorgeous cover! 🙂

    I love The Nesting Place and I love how pretty it is.

    The Blue Castle and Jane of Lantern Hill are two of my all time favorites. I really love them better than Anne of Green Gables.

  2. Théa says:

    Oh, I’m such a sucker for beautiful books covers! I have some of these, but not a full set, and it’s all I can do to resist buying books I already have in lovely editions like yours. I suppose that the next best thing is looking at your photos, right? 🙂

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