An elegant gift for book lovers

By Mary Louise Ruehr | Books Editor Published:

If you've been looking for an unusual gift for Christmas or any other special occasion, I have a suggestion that's going to knock the socks off any book lover.

Spineless Classics has taken some of the world's best-loved books and printed them -- with the complete text of each work ­-- on wall posters, with the text incorporated in and around a graphic appropriate to each work.

These are so beautiful! I have "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling. The size is 30x40 inches, and it's all black ink on a white background. The 4-point text wraps around the white graphic design of Harry's glasses and Hedwig the owl.

I also have my eye on "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, which shows silhouettes in white of a man and woman, and "Black Beauty" by Anna Sewell, for which the text forms a horse's head. "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie shows a train in motion.

This wall art is extraordinary. It not only evokes feelings for the book and the character, but it is also simply beautiful and elegant. Plus, it's an excellent conversation piece.

It's almost unbelievable that very single word and punctuation mark from the book is included; no text has been cut away or lost because of the art.

The company has added quite a few of our favorite books to its catalogue, including some available in traditional poster sizes of 18x24, 36x24 and 36x48, so that they fit standard frames.

Many of the posters are black on white, but several feature color: In "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Willie Wonka's white silhouette is surrounded by colorful candies. "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" is printed in green in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Some books require more than one sheet: The King James Bible is printed in three parts. "War and Peace" takes up four posters with its half a million words. The Complete William Shakespeare -- every sonnet and play written by the bard -- covers five sheets.

"Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts fills three poster pages. But it is also available in a beautiful single sheet, 9 ft. 10-1/8 inches long by 37-3/8 inches high ­-- good luck finding a frame for that one!

The heavyweight, satin finish paper is non­reflective, and the text is pin-sharp so that, even though it's tiny, it's fully legible, and the lightfast ink will not fade.

The concept of turning books into wall art was born in 2003 when Carl Pappenheim printed the first design, "Persuasion" by Jane Austen, as a gift for his mother. Other early titles included "Wuthering Heights," "Pride and Prejudice" and "A Christmas Carol." The newest titles added to the catalogue are three by Roald Dahl.

I can't list all the titles here, but other beloved books include "The Hobbit" and "Peter Pan"; classics such as "The Heart of Darkness" and "Frankenstein"; nonfiction works include The United States Constitution (with a patriotic eagle design) and "The Origin of Species."

The posters, unframed, range in price from $41.99 for "A Christmas Carol" to $236.99 for "War and Peace." All shipping in the United States costs $1.

You can look over the posters and download a free catalog at www.spinelessclassics.net. Just looking them over is fun! You can even send somebody a gift catalogue, in your price range, that doesn't reveal the prices to the recipient.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.