People of the Book

by |
07/11/2008 11:00 AM |

This, about a new line of backlist Penguin paperbacks, makes me want to ask: do any of you guys buy paperbacks compulsively just so you have as wide a variety as possible of all the different design templates places like Penguin and Vintage employ for their library of classics? Like how recently Penguin Classics switched their primary design from seafoam green spine/black and white photo with white title box on the cover to black spine and bottom third of front cover/painting on the upper two thirds of the cover*, and now I’m trying to by up as much of the old ones as I can before they go out of circulation? (Weirdly, I also have a lot of the orange spine/text-based cover Penguin Classics from just prior to the seafoam era; not a good stretch for Penguin.) Do you guys have preferred editions when buying used books? Or am I destined to die alone, with nothing but my fourteen different editions of Libra to keep me company?

* I refer, of course, to U.S. editions only; of course whenever I see a U.K. edition I have to get it, for the sake of variety.

9 Comment

  • is this one step closer to arranging your books by color, in the way that mad idiots do?

  • i can never pass up a modern library edition of anything i’m even remotely interested in reading some day, probably when the world ends and there’s nothing to do but wander around the ruins eating fruit and catching up on the classics. until, of course, my glasses break, and i can’t read anymore. ha ha! i don’t wear glasses! psych!

    and if it’s a modern library with a DUST JACKET, well, forget it. bring on the durkheim!

    actually, i’ve long planned a full-scale nervous breakdown, like the one my favorite high-school teacher had after her 11-year-old son died. she sat in her parents’ house in massachusetts for a year, and got through all of proust, all the russians, and much, much more.

    only i’m going to sit in a cafe/bar/sparsely furnished apartment in a beautiful european city and read all my modern libraries, bad translations and all.

    oh, and oxford classics are exponentially more irresistable, and exponentially harder to find. maybe because they’re so much smaller….

  • hi honey. can i come too?

  • that depends. you bringing books? will you hold onto the dogs’ leashes when i need to turn pages/take a sip of campari/nibble on tortilla?

    make me an offer…

  • that depends. you bringing books? will you hold onto the dogs’ leashes when i need to turn pages/take a sip of campari/nibble on tortilla?

    make me an offer…

  • I will now!!!

  • i hold the leashes and BUY the campari. keep out of this “anonymous.”

  • John Darnielle? is that you? hello? come back!

  • you call that a nervous breakdown?! Oh the humanity!