We all think of summer as a good time to dig into a frothy beach read, but it’s also the perfect occasion to pick up a title or two from your (sometimes daunting) “To-Read” list—and you know the one I mean. Even the most dedicated reader has a list of books they’ve been meaning to get to for ages. And there’s no time like the present!
Fortunately for us, many of these classics and modern classics are now available in gorgeous, collectible editions. Why not treat yourself to a beautifully bound book or two while also shaving a few long-standing titles off that list (to make room for others)? Win-win, book fans!
Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales, by Brothers Grimm
Not all of these stories are for young children, but even for adults, there’s no denying the power of reading the tales that lie at the root of so many shared literary (and cinematic) experiences. These stories are darker, grittier, and more hauntingly beautiful than you may have imagined, and you’ll love having a definitive (and stunningly bound) collection of them to read and reread.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
There’s no doubt that Doyle’s mind-bendingly twisty tales are currently experiencing a renaissance on both the large and small screens, but whether you like your sleuth Robert Downey Jr.–flavored or with a dash of Benedict Cumberbatch (or neither—you can also go with neither), there’s nothing like reading the captivating stories that started it all.
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe
From “The Pit and the Pendulum,” to “The Tell-Tale Heart” (which still gives me nightmares), you won’t regret immersing yourself in Poe’s masterfully dark oeuvre, although you may regret doing so under the covers late at night.
I’m envious of those who have not yet gotten to this modern classic: I wish I could have the pleasure of discovering Adams’s zany worldview and careening through his goofy universe of unforgettable characters for the first time. If you haven’t read these books yet, do yourself and your summer a favor and pick up this collection. You will be oh so glad you did.
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction, by H. P. Lovecraft
You know how people often refer to skin-crawlingly creepy movies, stories, and real-life situations as “Lovecraftian”? As the master of bizarre supernatural fiction, he has more than earned those comparisons—and with this collection you can discover exactly how.
The Art of War and Other Classics of Eastern Thought, by Various Authors
Chinese general Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is one of the most significant military strategy books ever written—and what better way to read it than with the invaluable context provided by the inclusion of six other influential books of Eastern philosophy? This seminal collection includes Lau Tzu’s Tau Te Ching and the Confucian Analects.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, by William Shakespeare
37 of Shakespeare’s brilliant and beloved plays are included in this single volume, along with his complete works of poetry (including the sonnets! Who doesn’t love the sonnets?). If you only own one volume of collected written works, I say make it Shakespeare’s.
A Treasury of Classic Poetry, Collected by Michael Kelahan
Poetry lovers and poetry dabblers alike, rejoice! This collection includes more than 50 of the most treasured poets in the world, and over 300 classic poems, spanning nearly five centuries. If you’re looking to diversify your poetry collection without focusing on one or two specific poets, you can’t go wrong with this wonderfully diverse volume. (It also makes a great gift for a favorite recent graduate. Let someone else get them Oh, the Places You’ll Go. You get them Dickinson and Keats.)
Aesop’s Illustrated Fables, by Aesop
Come for the spritely, memorable fables that have long captured our collective imaginations (“The Tortoise and the Hare,” anyone?), stay for the fantastic illustrations—engravings and color plates—that make them come alive in this breathtaking collection.
Ernest Hemingway: Four Novels, by Ernest Hemingway
It’s difficult to read just one Hemingway novel—fortunately this compilation of four of his very best works, in a beautiful collectible edition, means you don’t have to! Now you can cross a whole slew of To-Read novels—including The Sun Also Rises and the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Old Man and the Sea—off your list at once.
Jules Verne: Seven Novels, by Jules Verne
The perfect summer companion, Verne’s highly adventurous body of work will make even the simplest staycation feel like a daring escapade—thanks to such heart-pounding novels as Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and A Journey to the Center of the Earth. The perfect gift for a bookworm explorer—or simply a great introduction to the books of one of fiction’s most imaginative minds.
From now until July 23, the collectible editions above are on sale! Buy 1, Get 1 for $10
(Applies to all titles $19.98 and above. Excludes boxed sets)