Not that it is acceptable to judge a book by its cover (although in the literal sense it is, because that is kind of the point of book jackets), but it helps. Especially if the cover is nice. And Penguin, who are reissuing some of their classics (not for the first time), are taking thorough advantage of this with their rather splendid Penguin English Library,
There will be one hundred titles in total, released in batches for the next six months, drawn from their extensive list of classics, all originally published in English, all issued and reissued many times over (and not just by Penguin), and yet somehow made all the more pleasing merely by a splash of colour, a move away from drab spines and resetting the type. As well as that matte, rubbery finish that is cropping up on more and more books these days (which probably has a technical term and also a good reason other than it feels pleasant) So, cosmetic, yes. But then there’s the price – £5.99, except because we are nice you can get them from us at £3.99 – and the simple fact that it makes them all look far more interesting and covetable and necessary. It even makes Thomas Hardy appear enjoyable to read, which is surely an achievement.