Beautiful books

Explore articles and features about beautiful books. Learn about the publishers of stunning special editions, like Folio Society, or browse art books and discover illustrations from eras long ago.

April 04, 2022
Books have always struggled to convey the spectacular beauty of Rome’s Sistine Chapel. Until now. A five-year collaboration between the Vatican and two publishers has resulted in this luxury three-volume art book.
3 Min Read
By Julie Oreskovich
March 23, 2022
The New Naturalist Series is an on-going series of books published by Collins that focuses on natural history. The series, famous for its dust jacket designs, began in 1945 with Butterflies by E.B. Ford and more than 100 titles have been published.
2 Min Read
By Richard Davies
February 23, 2022
The Grand Budapest Hotel was one of the most successful movies of 2014 and nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best film and best director. But are you aware of the inspiration for this award-winning movie?
1 Min Read
By Sandra Hindman
January 24, 2022
Books of Hours were medieval bestsellers. Sandra Hindman, an expert on medieval manuscripts, explains why these books were, and still are, so important.
8 Min Read
July 30, 2021
Big, bold and beautiful, art books are the perfect addition to your coffee table or bookshelf. This list of 15 essential art books spans centuries, movements, and mediums.
1 Min Read
By Jessica Doyle
July 06, 2021
We scoured our vast selection of vintage books for the most beautiful dust jackets, and soon discovered that selecting just 30 was a nearly impossible task. This selection ranges from 1917 to 1969, and really is just a drop in the bucket. From abstract design to detailed illustrations, enjoy these gorgeous vintage dust jackets.
2 Min Read
By Jessica Doyle
June 03, 2021
Explore AbeBooks' selection of beautiful rare bibles and learn the stories behind world famous editions.
3 Min Read
June 03, 2021
Arthur Rackham was an illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th century. He was born in London in 1867. He began studying at the Lambeth School of Art at the age of 18, and soon found his passion and calling. The first of Rackham's illustrations to be published in a book were in 1893, in The Dolly Dialogues. Rackham never looked back. From that first publication, illustration was his career until the day he died at age 72, of cancer.
1 Min Read
June 03, 2021
Standing like an island amid the sea of cheap mass produced paperbacks and formulaic new releases, is the Folio Society. This organization is half publisher, half book club, and was founded in 1947 on the principle that books should be beautiful to the eye as well as captivating to the mind.
1 Min Read
June 03, 2021
Art Deco, which originated in Paris, is one of the most memorable of all design movements thanks to its modern feel and use of mathematical and geometric shapes. Oddly the actual label of 'Art Deco' was not popularized until 1968 when art historian Bevis Hillier published a book called Art Deco of the 20s and 30s.
1 Min Read
June 03, 2021
The Franklin Library, a division of The Franklin Mint, was a publisher of fine collector edition books from the early 1970s until 2000.
1 Min Read
By Edward Halpern
June 03, 2021
The Limited Editions Club of New York was started in 1929 by George Macy. At 29-years-old, he was an avid reader who wanted to make his living from books. His business revolved around publishing beautifully illustrated classic titles in relatively small quantities with club members paying a subscription.
3 Min Read
By Jessica Doyle
June 03, 2021
Penguin Drop Caps is a series of 26 rainbow-hued hardcover editions of literature's finest treasures. An edition for each letter of the alphabet, the series features authors from A (Jane Austen) to Z (Carlos Ruiz Zafon).
1 Min Read
By Richard Davies
June 03, 2021
The Book of Miracles is perhaps not the right name. 'The book of biblical drama and things we don't understand' may be a better title. This beautiful book about a book is published by Taschen. It contains a facsimile of a mysterious manuscript from the 16th century along with two modern essays of explanatory comment on the history, meaning and importance of this manuscript.
2 Min Read
June 03, 2021
Sandra Hindman is a leading expert on Medieval and Renaissance manuscript illumination. Professor Emerita of Art History at Northwestern University and owner of Les Enluminures, Sandra is author, co-author, or editor of more than 10 books, as well as numerous articles on history, illuminated manuscripts and medieval rings. AbeBooks posed a number of basic questions about medieval manuscripts and Sandra was kind enough to answer them.
6 Min Read