Editor’s note: this article was sponsored by AbeBooks.com. The sponsor did not have any editorial insight into the content of this article.

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Over at Buzzfeed, Lincoln Michel recently shared a heartening list of 19 recently published books that prove that print isn’t dead. Judging by from the looks of The Illustrated Heart of Darkness by Matt Kish (whose work is featured twice on the list), Beck’s Song Reader, and a mysterious artifact from J.J. Abrams, 2013 was a great year for “dead trees.” In fact, as Lincoln claims, the threat of eBooks may be encouraging publishers to step up their game. And the future of print seems not only bright, but innovative.

With that spirit in mind, let’s look back at some fascinating print books from the past:

Heads and Tales by Malvina Cornell Hoffman


This one-of-a-kind presentation copy from 1943 eschews a boring leather binding for something a little more extreme. The seller describes it as “Bound in full wide grain white & gray snake (‘Asian python’?) or other unidentified lizard or reptile skin with whitish underbelly at outer fore edges of covers.”

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