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Knickerbocker classics come in two formats–slipcased hardcover and flexibound.
The covers of the flexibound editions feature various patterns and have a cloth-like texture. A band keeps each book closed, much like a Moleskine notebook. This makes them excellent for travel, since the band will prevent the book from opening and the pages from getting smushed in a suitcase or bag. They’re also light and small–the perfect size for stowing in a purse.
I’ve never been very fond of patterned book covers (with the exception of Penguin’s English Library) and I have mixed feelings about these. Some, like The Phantom of the Opera, fit the mood of the story. Others, like Wuthering Heights, don’t.Check out these beautiful photos of Knickerbocker Classics!Click To Tweet
Knickerbocker’s slipcased editions are sort of like a budget version of The Folio Society, but it’s not a perfect comparison. Knickerbocker lacks some of key features of Folio editions, but it also has some features that Folio lacks.
Knickerbocker editions are not illustrated and lack the elegant interior formatting of Folio editions. They’re bound in much cheaper materials and won’t hold up as well over time. That said, the slipcases are actually much thicker and sturdier than Folio’s. The spines of Knickerbocker editions may not be bound as well, but they are more flexible, allowing the books to lie flat when opened.
Knickerbocker Classics cost $16.99 for the flexibound editions and $35 for the slipcased editions. I think that’s a bit pricey for the quality; I’d like to see that price dropped down $5 or so. Fortunately, they’re cheaper on Amazon, so it’s a bit of a moot point.
I like the slipcased Knickerbocker Classics and think they’re a great alternative to the Folio Society if you’re on a budget and still want nice slipcased books to show off on your shelf. I have mixed feelings about the design of the flexibound editions, but that is purely a matter of personal taste. I’m not a big fan of the Penguin Russian Vintage Classics series that everyone is always raving about for the same reason.
What do you think of Knickerbocker Classics? Which classics editions are your favorites?