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Book-ish: Book Reviews

The best reads that have landed on our desk this week

Written by . Published on August 9th 2011.

Book-ish: Book Reviews

PENGUIN Publishers have teamed up with the world’s greatest tattoo artists to produce a limited edition collection of books known as Penguin Ink. At first glance, these books barely look like your average run-of-the-mill novels at all, with their bold colours and their striking designs – it’s no wonder it’s got us talking.

Penguin has repackaged a series of seminal classics from the 1990s onwards to reach out to the new generation of collectors. The Penguin Collectors Society was first launched more than 40 years ago, and they are constantly looking for new ways to attract perspective collectors. With the book publishing industry now establishing itself in the digital world, Penguin is doing a great job creating a sense of nostalgia with these collectibles.

For us, these innovative cover designs are a distinct collision of literature and ink, which works surprisingly well. The cover designs are so different from what we're use to seeing in bookstores, and they highlight the evolution of literature and tattooing – two skills we rarely compare. Nowadays tattoos have become more and more about art. It's gradually moving away from the urban outlaw culture it was previously associated with.

Since the ’60s, tattooing was for art’s sake alone, but for those unaware, originally, tattooing was the first form of self-scarification and is even said to be as old as mankind. Tattoo markings were first used on the likes of tribesman to delineate the hierarchies and now that remains a stark contrast with the modern stereotypical image of bikers with tattoos.

One of our personal favourite’s is Zoe Heller’s classic novel Notes on a Scandal, which  has been re-imagined by one of the world's greatest tattoo artist's, London-based Valerie Vargas. She has redesigned the cover of Notes on a Scandal and included some of Penguin's consistent tropes across the collection such as the woman figure, roses and bright red colouring. Inside the book, Vargas has included a couple of her own designed tattoos and a small autobiographical blurb. The Managing Director, Joanna Prior, said, "We picked some of our biggest, bestselling British contemporary writers and authors who, like us, loved the idea of tattoo artists interpreting their books in a new cover look."

The other five titles in the Penguin Ink Collection include The Rotters’ Club, The Book of Dave, White Teeth, The Accidental and High Fidelity. This collection is a must for any bookworm and ink lover.

The limited edition Penguin Ink books were released on the 4th of August and are available for purchase on Penguin’s site.

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