I think we can all agree that books are brilliant. They're not just functional and covetable objects, they're beautiful, too. Whether we're talking about a pile of dog-eared paperbacks on a bedside table, a perfectly-ordered bookcase full of hardbacks or a leather-bound first edition, they all have their charm. We've found five of the best beautiful books, including collector's editions and special releases. Enjoy!
1. This is a lovely cloth-bound edition of Sense and Sensibility. Designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith for Penguin. It'll set you back £14.99 from the Jane Austen Centre. Austen's other novels are also available in this range.
2. Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales. This isn't strictly the complete set of tales, but there are over one hundred and twenty of them plus illustrations by Arthur Rackham, collected in this fine leather-bound hardback by Barnes & Noble. Available for £21.84 from Play.
3. This limited edition of Kipling's Just So Stories is something special. The book includes all twelve iconic tales and an affectionate introduction by Michael Morpurgo.The Folio Society commissioned contemporary artist Niroot Puttapipat to create fourteen exquisite paintings, which have been printed with gold borders and colour plates. This edition also includes illustrated endpapers and nine pen-and-ink tailpieces. It's limited to a thousand copies and is available from The Folio Society for £445.
4. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling was released in this special collector's edition in 2008. The book pictured is a mock-book casing, made to look like a tome from the Hogwarts library. Inside, there are ten prints of Rowling's illustrations and a velvet bag containing the book. The small volume has decorative metal clasps and a skull design. £250 from Stella & Rose's Books.
5. I imagine it's safe to say that the first editions of the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Milne are out of most our our price ranges. This reproduction set, however, is available for under fifty quid. The set contains Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, Now We Are Six, and When We Were Very Young. £45.10 from Waterstones.
Do you have any especially beautiful books in your collection?