Bill Amberg for Penguin Classics

Until these were presented to me last week as a late Christmas present, I didn’t even know that this edition of Penguin Classics existed. Leave it to my incredibly thoughtful husband to find something I wanted without me even knowing I wanted it. Penguin teamed up with leather-goods designer Bill Amberg to create special leather-bound editions of six Penguin titles.

As you can see I only have five of them. The sixth one is still on its way across the Atlantic. Besides being beautifully bound and printed, four of the six titles are counted among my all-time favorite books. I love Brideshead Revisted, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Great Gatsby and A Room With a View. I am somewhat less enamored of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I have never read The Big Sleep or any other Chandler for that matter.

Each is packed in its own box. When you open the box it is like opening a box with a nice pair of shoes inside.

Each book is bound in beautifully soft, brown Buffalo calf leather, which, if you believe the card inside the box, comes from animals that have died of natural causes. The binding is supposed to get better with use and handling. But I am not sure I will even store them outside their fabulous boxes.

They also have a luggage tag-like bookmark attached.

19 thoughts on “Bill Amberg for Penguin Classics

  1. C.B. James January 29, 2010 / 3:08 pm

    Those look great. I love the little tags. All wonderful titles, too. Even The Big Sleep.


  2. Hagelrat January 29, 2010 / 3:21 pm

    aren't they gorgeous, I have been tempted.


  3. ArchitectDesign™ January 29, 2010 / 3:27 pm

    what beautiful books -and a GREAT selection of titles: Those are all among my favorite books!


  4. Stefanie January 29, 2010 / 4:05 pm

    Those are some very pretty books!


  5. skirmishofwit January 29, 2010 / 4:41 pm

    What a gorgeous present! The books look stunning – I didn't know such editions existed either. Must look out for them!


  6. Aarti January 29, 2010 / 5:44 pm

    Wow, gorgeous! I bet someone 200 years from now will GREATLY appreciate your keeping those in good condition :-)


  7. little augury January 29, 2010 / 7:27 pm

    They are gorgeous, what a pleasure they will be read,deluxe.


  8. Mrs. B. January 29, 2010 / 7:35 pm

    I didn't know they existed either! They look lovely. The must be a pleasure to read.


  9. Paperback Reader January 29, 2010 / 8:22 pm

    I saw these on the Penguin site and they are such beautiful editions. What a wonderful gift! Enjoy.


  10. Kathleen January 30, 2010 / 12:45 am

    These are incredibly beautiful! How lucky you are to have received such a thoughtful gift!


  11. columnist January 30, 2010 / 1:57 am

    How divine. (The books, and your husband.)


  12. Frances January 30, 2010 / 10:20 pm

    You are loved! Such gorgeous presents. Now where can I purchase these?


  13. Thomas at My Porch February 1, 2010 / 9:33 am

    Thank you all for the comments. Yes my husband is very thoughtful. And if you want to get them I am pretty sure he orderd directly from Bill Amberg, but The Book Depository has them as well. So does Penguin, but they won't ship these to the US.


  14. Overdue February 1, 2010 / 10:59 am

    I've seen these and can't afford them. There should be some sort of welfare benefit for book addicts. That way our families wouldn't have to go without food and clothes so often.


  15. Lorin February 1, 2010 / 7:43 pm

    My husband would die from excitement if I gave these to him, so I better not.


  16. madbibliophile February 3, 2010 / 1:33 am

    How lucky are you! Those are such beautiful editions and to have the entire set. I love how they little details like the luggage tag. These were released some time before the the 2009 Christmas.

    Raymond Chandler is a great read.


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