where to find pretty books feature image - a few of my special edition books

Where to Find Pretty Books for Your Fantasy Collection (No Subscriptions Required!)

Last fall, I fell in love with physical books again—specifically, beautiful, special editions of my favorite books.

It turns out that reading and book collecting are two totally separate but equally valid hobbies. But finding beautiful books is also not as easy as it sounds. Many of the lauded subscription services like Fairy Loot, OwlCrate, and Illumicrate have months-long waiting lists. And the local bookstores (at least here in Canada) seldom have special editions.

If you are like I was and wondering where to find pretty books for your collection, I’ve got good news! There are lots of places you can buy them without needing a subscription. Here are a few of my favorites.

**Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this article which means if you make a purchase after clicking on one, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.**

If you want to see the kind of special editions you can get without a subscription, check out this unboxing video – every single book in it I bought from one of the below places!


There are a surprising number of pretty books with sprayed edges and other features. A lot of them are preorders for release later this year. Here’s a list of all the fantasy books I could find with beautiful sprayed edges:

I have pre-orders in for at least a few of these, plus I also own the Addie Larue special edition listed about, which is positively gorgeous:

My copy of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue


Waterstones is a UK-based bookstore that has heaps of beautiful, special edition books. The good news is that they do ship to the US and Canada. It can be expensive (especially for us Canucks) but sometimes it’s worth paying a bit extra for the book you want.

They have an entire signed & special editions section where you can find Waterstones exclusives, signed editions, and books with sprayed edges.

I got one of my copies of The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab from Waterstones (yes, one of them. I love this book so much I have multiple editions.), and the detail of the sprayed edges is stunning. Plus, it is signed by the author!

My Waterstones edition of The Fragile Threads of Power

Barnes & Nobles

If you’re from the States, then you will already know this one. But for my fellow Canadians, we don’t have Barnes & Nobles here. Fortunately, you can order from their online store. And they have lots of special editions and B&N Exclusives.

They even have a “Judge a Book for its Edges” section where you can shop for books specifically for their shelf appeal!

I got my copies of House of Flame and Blood and House of Sky and Breath from here. They don’t have sprayed edges, but the covers are stunning!

my barnes and noble editions of cresecent city series books 1 and 2

Book Subscription Stores

While monthly books subscriptions like Fairy Loot, OwlCrate, Illumicrate, and LitJoy have exclusive books for subscribers only, they also have shops where the public can purchase their books. Sometimes, the shop will include overstock of special editions that were left over from a previous month’s box, or special sales on editions outside of their subscription.

You can check out their store at any time, but the best way to stay in the loop on new releases and sales is to follow them on Instagram.

Granted, subscribers have first dibs on special sales, but quite often there is enough left over for the public sale, provided you jump on the offer as soon as its live.

I have a copy of OwlCrate’s A Tempest of Tea on the way from such a sale. I also have beautiful Illumicrate editions of the Strange the Dreamer duology and, more recently, Owlcrate’s The Fragile Threads of Power. (See, I told you I had multiple editions!)

Here’s a video of me unboxing the latter. It gives you a good look at the quality of the book, which has stenciled edges, exclusive artwork, and gorgeous endpapers. (Signed too, of course!)

@corriesstories So obsessed with this series thst j had to splurge on tbe Owlcrate edition of the fragile threads of power #owlcrate #owlcrateedition #thefragilethreadsofpower #veschwab #bookunboxing ♬ original sound – corriesstories


Acrylipics is a smaller brand that creates beautiful special editions of popular fantasy books. If you’re a Sarah J Maas fan, this site is heaven! They have stunning collections of both ACOTAR and Throne of Glass.

They also have a special edition of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, and have plans for the Divine Rivals duology as well.

Their books tend to sell out quickly, so your best chance of snagging their new releases is to sign up to their email list!

Kathy’s Bookish Shop

This online store specializes in beautiful sprayed edges of popular fantasy books, like Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Game of Thrones, Fourth Wing, Priory of the Orange Tree, Throne of Glass, Daughter of No Worlds, A Darker Shade of Magic, and many, many more.

All books are sold and shipped out of Germany, so be sure to check out the FAQ page for details.


Last but not least, Etsy is a great site to check out for pretty books and dust jackets. In particular, I like the dust jackets you can find on here – it’s a an affordable way to upgrade the look of your bookshelf without paying for entirely new books.

But you can also easily find books with custom edges. Just type “sprayed edges” into the search bar and you’ll find a lot of beautiful books for purchase.


With these 7 options, you’ll never wonder where to buy pretty books again. Monthly subscription places are great, but there’s something to be said for being able to hunt down the specific books you want special editions of. I am always scouring the internet for more places that sell special edition books, and will make a point of keeping this post updated whenever I find a new gem!


How can I find books with pretty covers?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Owlcrate, LitJoy, Illumicrate, Fairy Loot, Acrylipics, Kathy’s Bookish Shop, and Etsy are all great places to find books with beautiful covers, special artwork, and sprayed or stenciled edges.

Which book has the most beautiful cover?

Obviously, the most beautiful book is subjective, but I adore my copy of The Fragile Threads of Power from Owlcrate. The leatherbound books from Brandon Sanderson’s shop are quite stunning also.

How do people find rare books?

Although you’re unlikely to find beautiful books with sprayed edges in such a place, used bookstores often have hidden gems, with out-of-print copies that can be worth quite a bit. Charity sales, Pango books, and eBay are other places you can look.

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