Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Love Affair With Penguin Classics

Penguin Classics. For me, the name conjures up images of rows of black spines on a bookshelf. For most, probably, "Penguin Classics? Oh yeah, that's a book publisher, isn't it?"

I'm not sure when my insatiable desire for Penguin Classics started exactly, it came on very gradually. At first it was for the Penguin Classics Regular Editions: the usually cheap but fairly elegant paperbacks with black spines and the title in orange lettering:  
Then, I discovered the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition:. They're more pretty, though sometimes the covers can be kind of silly:. Suddenly, the Penguin Classics Deluxe editions were much nicer to me. It's not like I usually read the introduction/analysis in the regular paperbacks anyway, and the feel of the Deluxe (in some cases) is much nicer. But then, the hardcover editions came to my attention. I had noticed them before on Amazon, but Amazon doesn't do them justice. The covers aren't so flashy, but the hardcover is obviously much more durable, and it has an elegant ribbon bookmark: . And the cover does have a certain simple beauty about it, and a nice texture. They look really good lined up too. So now, I want the hardcover too. All of them would be lovely. Such is the nature of being human. You want it all, all of it! Wasteful, but just look at them! Each beautiful in their own way. 

Now, you might be wondering about price range. The regular paperbacks range from $6.00-$16.00 (at least that's what I've seen.) The deluxe editions are usually $16.00. The hardcovers are around $20.00, though there are exceptions (such as Pride and Prejudice.) Most of the more expensive ones can be gotten at Amazon for a reduced price.

So now you've heard about my love for Penguin Classics. Right now, for example, I have a line-up of four Dickens regular editions: The Old Curiosity Shop, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, and David Copperfield. And, oh my god, they're so beautiful! Every time I look at them I get this happy feeling. There. I think I'm done now. I'll just share some miscellaneous photos, not taken by me:

Such beauty (these are the hardcover editions.)
Jane Austen's complete novels.

Such beauty. Oh, how I envy this guy (I think he's a senior editor there.) How can he stand there, smiling so unconcernedly, with that big stack right in front of him.

Anyway, I might publish a list of the Penguin titles I own later (though if you've been paying attention to What's On My Bookshelf you'd already know some), but for now that's it. Hope you enjoyed!

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