My first specific book fonts are the Contenu Buddy Book Design package. Contenu came first as the fonts developed while writing one of the early editions of Practical Font Design. The companion sans, Buddy, developed out of long frustration. Finding font families with the same metrics to use in run-in heads and the like was a real problem. Buddy was designed to solve that problem. The family has worked far beyond my expectations. Click on the specimen link to the left to see what the fonts look like.
The Contenu Buddy Book Design package has some rough edges
As the first attempt, some of the OpenType features need help [eventually]. For example, to access proportional lining figures, you need to choose Default Figure Style in the OpenType page of the paragraph styles in InDesign. In the Librum Book Design Group, I solved that issue, plus added many sophisticated special characters to help with book design projects. I design for my needs as an American book designer with a strong typographic background. You’ll either enjoy that or not.
These are the first fonts I designed to specifically work for book design. The Contenu eBook family was added a couple of years later to solve the problems unique to ePUB design where OpenType features are not possible yet, where kerning or tracking is not working yet, and you are stuck with whatever is available within the 256-character limits of ASCII. The ebook family is also saved in TTF because that works better for the format also.
Contenu Book Display was a very popular free font on MyFonts for a time. The elegance of the letterforms creates exceptional titles and heads. The lack of assertiveness distracts some designers—a blessing in my world of book design.
The group works for old-fashioned, nostalgic content
I have loved these families from the moment I created them while writing various Practical Font Design books. They have a uniform small x-height with an oldstyle feel. The consistent feel reflects my style at the time. The books produced are comfortable, easy to read, and transparent to the reader. This reflects the true nature of book typography. Hence my definition of typography:
Typography is the art of communicating clearly and easily with type
These fonts will help you in that direction.