Books Everyone Should Own is Back!
After a hiatus from the shelves, Books Everyone Should Own (BESO) is making its much awaited return, and this time with a twist! Previously part of the BESO subscription program, this BESO Classics set is now available for one-time shipment. That’s right, no more waiting to build your library over time—with just one purchase you can add these ten beautiful classics to your to-read list.
Even if you’ve read Don Quixote front-to-back, BESO keeps the classics exciting with beautiful gold foil printed covers inspired by Victorian book designs. We’re not exaggerating when we say these embossed covers reflect light like they’re jewels and not books! Each cover is thoughtfully illustrated with design elements from the texts themself, which for any book nerd, is a truly magical touch. Just as exciting as the words on the page, here are four elements from the BESO covers that have us mesmerized:
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Funnily enough, The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas’ famous book about the gallant swordsmen Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan, is actually responsible for spreading misconceptions about how and when swords were used as weapons in 17th century Europe. At the time, swords were the primary weapon used by the aristocracy, and musketeer swords in particular were becoming highly decorative pieces used to “peacock” symbols of status, rank, or sometimes dynasty. The sword that is most often associated with musketeers because of Dumas’ famous French historical novel is the Rapier sword, a thin-bladed sword historically used for fencing. Naturally, a gold rapier slices through the title of the BESO edition of The Three Musketeers. In the novel, the sword represents honor, bravery, and skill. The musketeers are renowned for their swordsmanship and are respected for their ability to wield a blade. The sword is not only a weapon but also a tool used for self-expression, and it reflects the personality and style of its owner. This cover exudes a similar “picaro” flair as Dumas’ tale!
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
For Huck and Jim, Twain’s infamous duo, fish are everything. In fact, they are the lifeline that brings the two unlikely characters together. Huck Finn is a young boy who has a difficult relationship with his abusive, alcoholic father. One day, his father kidnaps him and takes him to a cabin in the woods. Huck manages to escape and fakes his own death, running away to an island in the Mississippi River where he meets Jim, a runaway slave who is seeking freedom. As the two float down the Mississippi River on a raft, they must rely on the land to sustain themselves and their separate but altogether entwined journey towards independence. Importantly, it is this shared act of fishing that first prompts Huck to question the morality of slavery and everything he has been taught about American society. The aquatic scene gracing the cover of the BESO edition of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn pays a beautiful tribute to the significance of fish in Twain’s influential work!
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Can’t say that I would make the same mistake, but Cervantes’ Don Quixote famously confuses distant windmills as giants and sets out to battle them, mistaking their sails for waving arms. This silly misinterpretation holds more weight than you’d think, evincing Quixote’s distorted perception of reality. His idealistic and chivalrous nature leads him to see the world in a romanticized way, where he imagines himself as a knight fighting against evil. The windmills, in this sense, represent the challenges that he faces in his quest for chivalry and honor. So what’s on the cover of the BESO Don Quixote: A windmill or a giant?