A beautiful thing

(From our lovely editor Georgia Murray)

We think we have established that here at Hot Key we love books – and that we’re rather fond of beautiful ones too. So, inspired by swoonworthy sites like, here is the first in an occasional series in praise of beautiful books.

None of us is questioning the marvel that is a Kindle. No more lugging around a million pages of manuscripts to and from work any more. No more trying to squeeze ten battered paperbacks into a suitcase for beach reading (though to be honest, sand and Kindles are not entirely compatible). No more debating over whether to risk squeezing that rather beautiful hardback in a bag amongst the lippy and a squashed banana.

But, there is no denying that there is, and should always be, a place for that beautiful hardback on the shelf. That very real, tangible, solid and impeccably crafted thing. Perhaps like this one:

FOUR TALES by Philip Pullman is a book that invites you to stroke, feel, treasure. The light debossing on the cover that you can run your finger over, the irresistible silver lettering against the midnight-blue. The intricacy of the illustrated endpapers. The rush of the thick, creamy pages. The intense black lines of Peter Bailey’s perfect drawings. Mmmm.

Right, we’ll stop now, but feel free to share to your beautiful book stories.

(ed note: in our previous bookshelves blog, Georgia’s bookcase is the one on the bottom right, and below is a bonus front-on pic and some explanation. She said in her original note: “Please allow me to point out my very small but much loved collection of first editions on the second shelf up, towards the left: Graham Greene, Virginia Woolf, Paul Auster, Origin of Species (well, sixth edition), and not forgetting my very own grandma’s novel ‘Sweet and Plenty’, written in the 1950s. Early chick lit!” I’m definitely impressed, and will definitely be asking more about SWEET AND PLENTY! – SOC)