In 2013 my husband and I bought our first home together; it was a one bedroom flat in Stepney Green, East London and we loved it. Unfortunately, in order to make best use of our space we had to donate almost all our books to charity. As an avid reader the loss of my books left a paperback shaped hole in my life and made space for something that I had been reluctant to buy – a Kindle.
I love books. I love the smell of the printed page, the sound of the spine cracking when you open it for the first time, and most importantly I adore great cover art.
While the Kindle has brought me great joy – I read more now than ever – it has also meant that I no longer spend hours in the bookshop looking for my next exciting read and I truly miss that. So when I do get the time to stalk through my local bookshop I am far more discerning in choosing the books I buy – I really do judge a book by it’s cover.
As a creative person, I have always been drawn to books with great cover art so it is no surprise that the books designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith are ones that I covet more than most. I first discovered her designs a few years ago in a small independent bookshop on Cheapside near St. Pauls during a long walk through the City. It was a series of cloth bound Penguin classics that made me catch my breath and want to read those books all over again. The beautiful patterns and illustrations that she designs draw from the story itself, while the printing and finishing of the books encourage you to hold and touch them – and own them!
Since I first discovered her work she has gone on to do so much more, including writing and illustrating her own stories, and these too are magical and precious and worth taking a look at. Her instagram feed is a lovely window into her work and life and I thoroughly recommend following her @coraliebickfordsmith
Images copyright of Coralie Bickford-Smith. Shown with permission.