dislike badly produced books. There I said it. And what irritates me more than ever is the deep-throating of cheap, mass market paperbacks made from recycled-pulp you see at airports, drug stores, supermarkets, 7-eleven, and yes—even outside toilets (Just think about that for your next visit to a public lavatory or as we Brits say, water closet, okay I meant the loo, if you run out of toilet paper).
But now and then, something comes along and on the corner of my eye catches my attention. I turn, slightly bewildered, gasping and trying to comprehend an intelligible thought—unbeknown find myself sliding my index finger on a large, finely printed ‘W’ on the top, back of book-spine. And way and behold—I slide out a book produced by White’s Books.
Their motto: ‟Beautiful editions of reader’s favourites books”—You know what, I like that!
White’s Books is former Penguin Books designer David Pearson’s new publishing house. Renowned artists are commissioned to design the binding for each of the beautifully crafted hardcovers. Petra Borner (a fashion designers that has worked for Louis Vuitton) Stanley Donwood (a wood- and lino-cut artist that is best known for designing Radiohead’s album covers) and Joe McLaren (an illustrator for The Times and Monocle) are just a few of the great designers. This step reminds me of George Macy’s Limited Editions Club that was founded back in 1929 which produced, in my opinion one of the finest, illustrated limited editions of classics and contemporary literature. Macy used famous artists and illustrators of the time including artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. The difference between White’s Books and Macy was that Macy’s books were signed by both the author and the artist! And they did not come cheap!
White’s Books are meant to be affordable and a fine edition for under £20—well you can’t see me complaining. Other features: elegant typesetting, thick acid-free paper, printed end-pages, and a pretty red ribbon to mark your place. “Hooah”, as thundered out by the U.S. Army Rangers.
The currently available editions: Treasure Island, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Sonnets and Poems, The Christmas Books, Emma, and Sherlock Holmes.