My Holiday Book Haul – a Feast for the Eyes

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I’ve always wanted to do a book haul blog post but two things have made that impossible – I can only use eBooks these days and I get 95% of them from the library.

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, from qualifying purchases. (This in no way affects the honesty of my reviews!) All commissions will be donated to the ALS Association.

This past Christmas season, a temporary lull in my freelance writing projects gave me the ability to waste spend time on Pinterest, where I discovered pretty books.

I’ve become a more visual person in the last several years, perhaps because I can no longer taste and smell so my sight is becoming a more dominant sense. Yes, I’m blaming ALS for my new addiction. Might as well. 😉

When I saw the books, I really wanted to have some. I’ve never been a collector but that was about to change. I told my husband, Paul, that I was going to get “3-4 a year” and you can see how that worked out. Actually, Paul said, “Get as many as you want. I like books.” So he’s the enabler of my new behavior.

The criteria for my new books is simple – they have to have pretty covers and spines so they look good on a bookshelf. The fact they’re all classics and I plan to read or re-read at least five of them this year saves this from being completely frivolous. (You can see I’ve been working on my rationalization skills.)

I really like my new, pretty books and I’m pleased to be able to share them with you.

Penguin Clothbound Classics

penguin upright 2

This is the series that I fell for the hardest. The covers were designed by artist Coralie Bickford-Smith and many of them are quite stunning. The covers are designed to reflect the contents of the book – for example, the cover of Little Women has pairs of scissors laid out in a diamond-shaped grid in honor of the scene in which Jo cuts her hair.

penguin grid

My collection currently includes:

  • A Christmas Carol
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
  • Dracula
  • Great Expectations
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • Little Women
  • Oliver Twist
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Tales from 1.001 Nights
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Treasure Island
  • Wuthering Heights

There are 63 books in this series so I have some catching up to do! Here’s a link to the Penguin website so you can see all the books in the series. If you want to purchase some, you can find lower prices on some (but not all) on Amazon. Additionally, I was able to pick up a set of 11 nearly new Penguin Clothbound Classics on eBay for a really good price, although I don’t know how common that is.

Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions

BN upright

These gems add some beautiful, tasteful bling to my bookshelves. The covers are pretty, but I especially like the spines. So far, my collection includes:

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
  • The Story of King Arthur and his Knights

bn grid

These were all $10 ($10!!) and they also have many for $25. I foresee several more of the $10 ones in my future! Here’s a link to Barnes & Noble website so you can see more bling. You can also find some of the books in this series on Amazon, although it’s a good idea to compare prices with the B&N website. 

Juniper Books

Nancy Drew with bookends

Paul gave me this Nancy Drew set for Christmas because he knows how much I adored Nancy Drew as a kid. The set includes five familiar titles:

  • The Bungalow Mystery
  • Secret Of The Old Clock
  • The Hidden Staircase
  • The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  • The Secret of Shadow Ranch

Brings back good memories and I’ll definitely be re-reading one of them.

Juniper Books has some unique and gorgeous sets. Here’s a link so you can feast your eyes. You can also find some really nice sets – including Chronicles of Narnia, Little Women, and Harry Potter – on Amazon. Wouldn’t these make a perfect gift for book lovers? 

Late breaking news

new bookshelves

Paul installed some amazing floating shelves for my collection this weekend so I can see the books from my bed. He used these brackets for a fairly straightforward installation and I love the bookends he picked out. Everyone should have a Paul in their life!

If you want to see more pretty books, here’s a link to the site that seduced me, Bluestocking Bookshelf. Click on the “collections” menu option and prepare to be amazed!

What do you think? Do you like my pretty books?

And remember:


Photo credits: Alison Pitnick and Sydney Melland

19 thoughts on “My Holiday Book Haul – a Feast for the Eyes

  1. Wow! Those are truly lovely! And I love how they are displayed. Great titles, too. Nancy Drew books were some of my favorites and both of our girls enjoyed them as well. We have several volumes in our basement (although they aren’t as pretty to display as yours!) and I can’t bear to part with them even though we have been trying to “lighten our load” of stuff. Nicely done by you and Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dang it! I’ve been trying to lighten my load, but now that I see your eye candy on those cool shelves I’m rethinking… thank you for the pictures and the links. I love your choices of titles too—the set of Nancy Drews send me back in the best way! Heart eyes emoji goes here. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I shared that link at the beginning of my downfall. 😉 I missed our traditional MLK weekend visit this year, so hoping a Fall visit is realistic. I should have more books to show you by then. And what a fun Instagram account!


  3. These are absolutely gorgeous! I especially like the flamingos on the cover for Alice in Wonderland and the exceedingly clever Nancy Drew spines. Thank you so much for posting these sumptuous specimens – and the links so we could covet even more. I can’t stop scrolling through the sites!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, some great books to have on a shelf, pretty covers or not. I’m less interested in the pretty books and more interested in Paul’s handy work. What’s he doing this weekend? I’ve got a couple of jobs around the house that could use his skills. Also, please don’t tell anyone but I read Nancy Drew’s Secret of the Old Clock when I was young. I loved it. How’s that for my sensitive side?! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see Paul posted a link to the YouTube video that taught him how to install the shelves. I think that was a hint. And I’ve always known you have a strong sensitive side, George. 🙂


  5. Love the Penguin Clothbound Classics best but they are all really intriguing and artistic. I read and give books away so quickly, I do not have time to look at them long, but do spend time admiring and wondering about the choice of artwork on books. These however are a whole different concept of book artwork. Well done, Michelle and the shelves are a bonus! I do a lot of audiobooks and miss the feel and look of having a book in my hands. I can understand your new obsession and totally support it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those books are indeed a feast for the eyes! I love how the covers reflect the stories! I’ve been wanting to go back and reread Dickens, and looking at these covers makes me want to use these editions. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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