Saturday, 3 December 2011

A year of beautiful books
This year for the first time more ebooks were sold than hardbacks.
Publishers have responded by building their marketing strategies around form rather than content. The Everyman Library, which is coming up to the 20th anniversary of its modern relaunch, makes much of its books' elegant two-colour case stamping, silk ribbon markers and "European-style" half-round spines. In 2009, to celebrate its 80th birthday, Faber republished a collection of its classic poetry hardbacks illustrated with exquisite wood and lino cuts by contemporary artists. Not to be outdone, Penguin will next year be reissuing 100 classic novels in its revamped English Library series in what its press release describes as "readers' editions". What other sort could there be, you might wonder? The press release elaborates that these will be "books you will want to collect and share, admire and hold; books that celebrate the pure pleasure of reading".



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