Find of the Month: Books Are Beautiful
So…it’s November 1st. That means the Canadian Gift Guide is officially in holiday mode, so stay tuned, break out a pencil, and start jotting down gift ideas because they will be coming fast and fabulous over the next 55 days. Starting with today’s pick, which has earned the righteous honour of being named THE Find of the Month going into the holidays – Random House of Canada’s spectacular new book design series, Books Are Beautiful.
Why have I chosen this as one of the must-have gifts this holiday season? For one, I’m an avid reader, as most of you know by now. I believe books are one of the very best gifts you can give someone, because you’re not only providing hours of entertainment, you’re giving them hours of escapism, hours of brain-building activity, and hours of discussion points to bring up at that next cocktail party when the best literature is brought up.
Beyond that, books are meant to be shared. That’s why book clubs exist, or sharing circles, or even libraries for that matter. It’s why, unlike say, kitchen gadgets or DVDs, we proudly display our books as representations of who we are, and what we love. Beyond that, book covers are among the most accessible forms of iconic art for us to place in our homes. Think about how many times you really have judged a book by its cover, or stared at the cover of your favourite titles, reflecting on how the artists behind legendary covers have managed to boil down the essence of an amazing story in lines and type. It’s why I don’t own an eReader in many ways – you can’t beat the beauty and feeling of holding a book in your hands.
So what is Books Are Beautiful? Well as you’ve probably deduced by this point, it’s a collection of Random House of Canada’s most popular paperback titles, which are being released in a limited-edition collection of colour-coded, minimalist covers, to allow you to build an immensely displayable virtual reading rainbow.
The titles are primarily modern classics from authors around the world, including a few Canadian entries like Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and Michael Ondaatje’s In The Skin of a Lion. When I say modern classics, I mean that most of these books were published in the last thirty years, but have earned pretty hefty accolades, critical acclaim, and legions of fans. I myself am kind of jazzed at the time period of the titles, because it means most of ‘em are ones you’ve heard of, but maybe haven’t had the chance to read yet – like Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (released as a film last year) or Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It also means you won’t feel like you’re ploughing your way through a pile of schoolbooks. Although these are all works of literary fiction, they’re also all modern and readable.
Beyond that of course, is the design of the books. As I mentioned, they’ve all been given a uniform look, despite being from different eras, authors, and regions. Each book puts emphasis on one of the thirty featured authors first, with the titles of their classic books second. Which brings me to another reason why this set rocks – consider it a great introductory tool to a whole host of authors; after making it through every book, you can then boast about having read Douglas Coupland and Salman Rushdie alike.
But here, really is the BAM part of the design. Each cover has its own unique Pantone colour…which actually extends to the edge of the pages, all of which have been handsprayed in a matching shade for a 360 design experience. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did ya?
By now, you’re probably salivating / wondering where you can get your paws on Books Are Beautiful / how much they cost. Let me help you out. You can get Books Are Beautiful exclusively at Indigo stores. Each title costs you $16.95 (list price), but you can earn some sweet discounts by purchasing multiples. Buy 5 for $70, 10 for $120, or full collection for just under $350 – no matter what, you’ll actually find this pricing model offers a bit of flexibility when it comes to gifting. You could start with a certain section of the rainbow, or cherry pick titles you know your giftee will flip for, and spend the rest of your gifting occasions (Valentine’s, anniversary, birthday, Mother’s / Father’s Day, etc.) to fill out the set. Or you and your siblings or spouse could team up to surprise your parents with the full set, or parents, give your kids the gift of knowledge and buy every book for them. It’s a splurge, but a worthy one.
Of course, I couldn’t write about this beautiful, best of the best gift idea without offering up something for you all to salivate over…namely, two winners are each going to take home half of a Books Are Beautiful set (so you know exactly what’ll be on your gift list if you take the prize – the other half!) That means you’ll snag 15 titles from across the spectrum. Here’s how you enter:
1) Leave a comment by November 30th on which title from the series you’re most excited to read. For a full list, click here (or check out the images in this post). Check out the fun quiz if you click on the link!
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around December 1st to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry #1: Like Random House of Canada on Facebook, and leave a comment on their wall (you’ve got no obligation to mention this contest). Leave your Facebook username in the comments below so I know to count your entry!
5) Bonus Entry #2: Follow Random House of Canada on Twitter and send them (@RandomHouseCA) and me (@cdngiftguide) a Tweet about the contest. Leave your Twitter handle in the comments / a link to your Tweet so I know to count your entry!
6) Bonus Entry #3: Shoutout to my subscribers. If you’re already a subscriber, remind me in the comments below to earn a bonus entry. If you aren’t, what are you waiting for? Hit the ‘Gift Me Please’ section in the sidebar and stay tuned for the very best gift ideas in the country, all year long. Then let me know in the comments once you’ve signed up to earn your bonus entry.