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Penguin Designer Classics charity auction coming soon

Something a little bit different will be happening at AbeBooks.com next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We’re holding an online charity auction in conjunction with Penguin Classics.

Penguin got together with five major designers and asked them to come up with new editions of their favourite novel. The results were stunning. Penguin printed 1000 copies of each one and held back No.1 in each series so the respective designer could sign it. Those unique autographed copies – all brand new and straight from the publisher – are the ones that will be auctioned via AbeBooks.com and AbeBooks.co.uk. Stocks of the unsigned books have almost sold out and they have a retail price of $200/£100. Some sellers are already offering unsigned copies on AbeBooks for $300/£150.

Manolo Blahink, who creates women’s footwear worn by the rich and famous, used an original painting to illustrate the cover of Madame Bovary – check out the shoes. Sir Paul Smith, one of the big names in fashion, came up with a beautiful flower design for Lady Chatterley’s Lover.  The most challenging design is The Idiot – produced by cutting edge industrial designer Ron Arad – which has no cover at all and is housed in a clear box that uses a lens to make the text move when you peer at the copy. Tender Is The Night and Crime and Punishment are the other two classics to get the designer makeover.

Penguin Classics report that these books have been going down a storm and I can see why.

All the proceeds will go to English PEN – an international charity for author’s rights and freedom in literature. It’s the first time that we’ ve ever staged an auction so we’re intrigued to see how it turns out.

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