Aesthetically Irresistible Books

Never judge a book by its cover. This is what I am not supposed to do, yet is exactly what I have done and am confessing to in this post. I am presenting to you a selection of books that I couldn’t resist buying.  The main reason? Their dainty ‘buy me’ covers. These may not all be what you are expecting by the way.

Judgement of this kind is a matter of taste, after all.

I am attracted to a certain type of book! Just like a person may be attracted to a certain type of person.

‘The Pursuit of Love’ by Nancy Mitford


This beautiful edition caught my eye on our honeymoon.  We were spending a few days in Victoria, British Colombia. I was already charmed by this quaint and pretty city and then found a wonderful bookstore amongst the antique shops. And smiling at me from the shelves was this edition. Yes, I had to carry it for the rest of the walking day. Yes, it was extra luggage back two flights to Ireland. Yes, looking at it makes me happy. The front boards are covered with one large image, a reproduced painting with ridiculously angular men and women, over privileged and fashionable. I love the idea of a book as a painting. If this book had handles,  I would wear it like  handbag.

I love the story too! ‘Love in Cold Climate’ is also an essential read.

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan


I have a fascination with the novel Little Women as I mentioned in What Katy Did: Tributing those childhood reads that made me who I am. Therefore I often thought about that book the March girls were so fond of with all the good advice called Pilgrim’s Progress. I saw the book in the same shop in Victoria, the same place where I had been so excited to visit film locations from the movie of Little Women made in the nineties. I couldn’t resist this edition.  It looked so part of another world,  hardback with a hand drawn image reproduced on front. Lovely.

Who can resist a dust jacket?


I bought this in London at the wonderfully Dickensian named Jarndyce Booksellers near the British museum. Another one to drag around all the time as a heavy load, but I couldn’t leave it. It didn’t help that I splurged on two beautiful volumes that day! The movie Mrs Miniver with Greer Garson is a childhood memory of mine as a desperately sad tale. It truly showed how an ordinary, very comfortable middle class world could be destroyed by the effects of war. I couldn’t resist this edition with the red and (yellowed) white, almost intact jacket.

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell 

This is the second book purchased in London that day. It is not my only copy of this book as I have two ‘everyday’ versions. Love this book. I couldn’t leave behind a copy with such a formally written author’s name on front.  Mrs Gaskell sounds formidable indeed and most certainly not the writer of such gentle, safe humour.

The black and white graphics on this cover of this novel does not match the poignant reservoir of emotion I hold for this pathos filled story. I have an obsession with the actor Robert Donat and in particular his role in Goodbye Mr Chips. I watched the movie first in this case but felt obligated to buy the book when I found it on a shelf in a second hand store. Strangely,  I would have been drawn to this old dust jacketed hardcover anyway with the white on black stark image. It is just that it isn’t the cosiness I associate with Old Chips! I recommend you watch this movie. Bring tissues. I melt everytime. Donat’s performance is so powerful that I have refused to watch other versions until recently. I was in a situation where I saw Peter O’Toole’s performance. I must say it was wonderful.  My Dad always compliments the Martin Clunes adaptation too.  Therefore this story has great power. Watch it! READ it!

Poetry and I are friends. At a very wet and muddy trip to the popular Bloom festival in Dublin, I found a small rickety stall selling first editions and signed copies of books. It had been such a disappointing trip (weather,  muck, overpriced entry and food) that I splurged on this signed copy of Longley poetry.  It is a prized book on my shelf of wonderful writings. I loved the look of it. Clean cut and asking for interpretation. The dedication is not to me. I also am the type of a person who buys old written postcards in an attempt to save the sentiment from the trash!

It was just so pretty!

Again,  I have working versions of these Blake poems from college and for class. Why do I feel impelled to buy a modern copy, clearly made to look pretty and pleasing so that poetry fans like myself must buy yet another copy??! I don’t know why. I only know I love this smaller edition with the colourful, artistic jacket and jaunty font.

So there we have it. I am a person who judges by appearances! Only not people’s thankfully. Just the pretty books in my life! Books are my treasures so any moment with one must be enjoyed as a busy working  parent who finds these moments rare. Why not have a pretty version of the book to enjoy with the best coffee in a gorgeous mug? I write about happiness and this is it!

I may blog about this again. I like it!



12 thoughts on “Aesthetically Irresistible Books

  1. They are indeed beautiful. I have bought books in antique shops & carboot sales just because of their covers. The Pursuit of Love is my favourite cover here. And a close second is, Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these!

    I have a tendency to arrange my bookshelves according to the colours of the books (because I find it easy to remember what colour they are, so I can find them!) Plus it looks pretty!

    I read a lot more on my kindle these days, and I do miss looking at the covers while I’m deciding what to read next.


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