About this site

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About this site

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What is this site about?

The Beautiful Books site includes website essays and guides for collectors, book review blog posts and a video channel, focussing on finding and sharing the most beautiful books in the world with other bibliophiles.

Who am I?

Hi! I’m Daisy, I have rather a lot of books, and I run this site.  ツ 

Personally, I consider myself a ‘book lover’ rather than a collector, because a true collector keeps their books pristine and beautiful and invests with an eye for potential reselling; whereas although I do hoard my treasures like a dragon (and maybe display them on my shelves like the proud trophies of a deranged serial killer), I also read them, fondle them and evangelise their merits to anyone brave enough to enter my orbit.

I’ve lived and worked in many countries around the world, so my taste is eclectic and culturally diverse. I currently live in Australia (where book postage = nightmare), which means I look at many different editions from around the world before deciding which one is the best. My personal tastes have a bias towards illustrated fiction, fantasy, children’s/middle grade/YA literature, classics, and clever pop-ups/paper engineering. I have quite a few shelves of semi-fine press volumes from publishers like the Folio Society and Easton Press, as well as more affordable series like the Barnes & Noble leather-bound classics and Penguin Deluxe paperbacks, and many vintage books as well.

Why am I running this site?

I have been collecting books for several decades. I want to share my love and knowledge with you, dear reader, to encourage and support you in building your own beautiful libraries in any way I can.

How can you participate?

Well, first of all – warmest thanks to you for even bothering to read this page! It’s actually rather nice of you to want to know more about the person behind the page – most people don’t bother, so kudos to you for your intellectual curiosity and generosity of spirit

I’d love to know more about you too, so please feel free to

  • Comment on any of the posts or pages that interest you – I’ll read everything and reply if you have a question.
  • Contact me let to let me know what books you love, or if you don’t love them, why – I really am interested in your opinion even if it’s different to mine. Also let me know if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about – my library is vast, and I love talking about books, so the odds are good that I will be able to fulfil your request.
  • Follow the links to the books from my blog posts – some of them (primarily Book Depository, Amazon and Abes) are affiliate links which means I sometimes get a couple of cents if you buy through the links that I can put towards running the site, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. (And many thanks to those of you who do this by the way – I do appreciate it!) However, I promise to always only put the best links, so if there’s a signed copy or a special edition available somewhere that I don’t get a commission, don’t worry, I’ll still send you there instead! Your happiness and the quality of your library is definitely more important to me than 2c from Amazon…
  • Subscribe to receive notifications when I post new stuff if you like reading what I write.
  • Watch the videos on my YouTube Channel, give me a thumbs up, chat in the comment section, and subscribe to the channel if you prefer audiovisual to reading.
  • Finally, if you are a generous soul with a spare dollar burning a hole in your virtual pocket, you can visit my Patreon page. It will get you all my love – plus also access to videos and posts that are only available to patrons, as well as personalised book buying recommendations and other special chats, just for you…

Where else can you find me?

I am most active here on this website and also on the YouTube channel I mentioned earlier. I also post updates on my Facebook page, and I occasionally post on Instagram and Twitter.

21 Comments

M'Lynn · 3 September 2022 at 4:14 pm

I’ve so enjoyed the last few minutes as I read through your page on Junior Deluxe Editions. A couple of questions. I have JDEs with cloth spines and some with ‘leatherette’ spines. Do you know anything about when one was used vs the other? Also, as I went through your list I encountered The Family Treasury of Children’s Stories (3 vols) which does have the identical format. I’d love to know how you knew this set is part of the JDEs. Thank you for welcoming comments!

Ren · 27 July 2022 at 2:58 pm

Hi Daisy lovely idea lovely website and thanks from a fellow book lover.
Such a huge need of information on ‘beautiful’ books for the average, non specialist, non collector (yet?) book lovers.
I wonder if you could give more information on the graphic elements of the books – cover illustrations etc.
At the moment I am trying to decide whether tonbuy Emma of the Puffin/VA edition.
And everywhere I get only the same blurb copied off the Penguin site. Absolutely nothing about whether there are any illustrations inside, even though there is a slight passing mention of cover being based on fashions inside.
Found you today and planning to visit daily for a while 🙂

    Daisy · 31 July 2022 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Ren – thanks for the lovely message. I agree that information about the graphic elements is so important (I actually have favourite cover artists that almost always entice me to purchase their titles, talk about judge a book by its cover!). The Puffin/VA edition of Emma doesn’t have any illustrations inside – the main attraction of these books are the cover designs, which as you note are inspired by period fashions that appear in the stories, as well as an exclusive foreword which delves into the fashions in more depth written by Connie Karol Burks, an Assistant Curator in the Fashion, Textiles and Furniture Department at the V&A. Hope that helps!

Lily · 25 May 2022 at 2:26 pm

This is amazing, Daisy!! How in the world did you accomplish the feat of owning 10,000 books?! That’s amazing! Have you ever had to move all your books before? I imagine that would be really difficult!

    Daisy · 5 June 2022 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Lily – yes, I have had to move my books multiple times. It’s not easy at all! The trick is to make sure they are in small boxes – if you try and pack them into a standard moving box, you’ll never lift it…

      Lily · 7 June 2022 at 9:19 am

      Oh, goodness! That sounds like good advice. I have a few hundred, and I can’t even imagine moving what I have! I am thinking about beginning to collect some books, though. I’ve gotten my hands on a few Easton press leatherbounds. Is there anything you would say to someone in my position? Tips, lessons you learned, things to do and not to do, etc? That would make a great blog post, too, if you’re still blogging.

jenny fallon · 7 April 2022 at 2:21 am

any info on Waterstone’s ed of Chain of Thorns – Cassandra Clare? Thanks in advance!

    Daisy · 8 April 2022 at 10:18 am

    Last I heard for a release date was still tentatively scheduled for November 2022, but this is one of the titles hit by pandemic delays, supply shortages etc. will let you know when I hear more!

chuck vukotich · 1 March 2022 at 10:19 am

From my post above, I forgot to add that I just started the Christie Bantam collection, and don’t have all the titles, but have around 80.

chuck vukotich · 1 March 2022 at 10:16 am

Just a quick note. Just started the Agatha Christie Bantam collection. I am an Agatha Christie collector with a rather large collection, al though I am also a book lover…we have a lot of books. But clearly you would consider me a collector. I also collect Sue Grafton. I have a Bantam list of 102 titles, but I have not had the time to cross reference with you list. I obtained this from a new friends who only collects the Bantam series, I don’t know if you would be interested in having me post anything about Agatha, or even where I’d post it.

I want to say this this is a wonderful site.

    Daisy · 1 March 2022 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for getting in touch and for the kind words! I am working on setting up a forum where collectors can exchange information but it has been a bit of a slow process. In the meantime, if you have additional notes about Agatha for one of the series I’ve covered on the site (currently I have notes for Bantam, Tom Adams covers, Folio Society editions and the HarperCollins hardbacks) then please do post them to the comments on those pages as we have some great collector chats going there. For other comments (or suggestions of additional series that would benefit from collecting notes) you can post them here or drop me a note via the comments page 🙂

Jed · 3 January 2022 at 9:32 pm

Hi Daisy. I just discovered your website when I was looking for information regarding Bantam’s Agatha Christie collection. I am also interested in reading and learning about the books by Easton Press and Folio Society. I am glad that I discovered your website. I am based in Canada and hopefully you can add affiliate links to Amazon.ca and Indigo since I mostly buy my books from there. I will also check out your YouTube channel to support your efforts as my way of saying thank you for keeping this website updated.

    Daisy · 10 January 2022 at 10:01 am

    Thanks Jed. The Amazon links should automatically redirect to your local Amazon if you’re in Canada (unless that specific edition is not available in Canada, then it will go to the US or UK site, depending which country is offering it – I have them set to not offer substitutes because usually people from my site are looking for a specific edition). At least, they are supposed to work that way…

Russ · 27 July 2021 at 8:23 am

Thank you for you wonderful pages on Charles van Sandwyk books. I had a difficult time researching a book I bought called, How to See Fairies. That was until I found your site.
Russ

    Daisy · 28 July 2021 at 9:00 pm

    So glad you found your way here. Charles’ work is really magical – and addictive! Dx

Susan J Fitz · 5 April 2021 at 2:33 am

Thank you so much for your offer to help, Daisy! if I just had an old ad showing the shelf, I would know about what size to look for. I just moved into my new duplex and those books want to get out of those boxes! I’ll appreciate any help you can give! Hugs from Fortuna, Ca!

Susan Fitz · 27 March 2021 at 7:45 am

Just noticed my post says 7:40am, guess thats Australia time! Sorry to disturb you so early! Susie Fitz. sjfitz2@gmail.com

Susan Fitz · 27 March 2021 at 7:40 am

I love books too, so I feel sure you are a dear, warm hearted lady, maybe Agatha modeled Bunty after meeting you! Sometimes I wish so many characters would come to life, how wonderful that would be, and yet most characters are drawn from real people and I wonder if I’ve actually met any yet!
I’m on a mission to find the Bantam bookshelf that was offered after I received my final Agatha Christie Bantam book club edition. I kick myself daily for not buying it! (I can show you the bruise!). Can you help me or at least tell me the measurements or send me a pic of it, I will probably have to have one made. In appreciation, Susie Fitz

    Daisy · 3 April 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Hello! Apologies for taking so long to reply – there was an issue with comments on my site that is hopefully now fixed 🙂 Hopefully only the nice Christie characters come to life – there are a few murderers I’d be happy never to meet… I don’t have the details for the Bantam bookshelf, but there is a very helpful fellow who has one of the most complete collections I know of that I will ask for you, hopefully he will be able to help! I’ll update when I hear back!

      Daisy · 9 September 2021 at 10:35 am

      Hi Susan! Jonathan – our resident Bantam Christie expert – has managed to track down some information for you on the mysterious Bantam Bookshelf! He had some correspondence with a collector whose mother kept a stack of advertisements and correspondence she and her husband had received from Bantam, and amongst it was an advert for a set of book shelves. Though the advert was from Bantam, it also had Random House printed at the bottom. The thing about the book shelves is they were not specifically made for the Agatha Christie collection. Yes, the offer had the Agatha Christie silhouette (in blue) at the top, and the sales pitch was that the shelves would be ideal for displaying the Collection, but the shelves themselves had no gold silhouette or insignia or anything of the kind. They were just book shelves. The letter/offer wasn’t dated, but the most recent title his parent’s had was “Absent In The Spring”, so best guess is the offer was sent in the ’90’s. Many thanks to Jonathan for his clever sleuthing, and I hope this information helps you in your search ツ

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