October 23, 2011

Sailing Into the Inbox

Once again, it's time to link up with The Story Siren for In My Inbox, and this week, I had three arrivals.  All three of them were books I bought, unfortunately, because my latest shipments of books for review have not arrived yet, much to my disappointment.  I know I have at least two wending their postal way to me right now, and a third that should be shipped within the next couple of days, but they haven't come yet.  :(  Oh, well, more for next week's Inbox story!  :)

Anyway, my intake this week includes The Pickwick Papers, which I've been determined to read for years, and have even tried more than once, so it will be proudly displayed in my Victory Garden once I finally polish it off.  Jane Eyre is officially on the TBR pile, after putting it off for far too long.  As for Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne has always featured prominently in my mental list entitled "I really do mean to get around to reading that someday".  He shot very quickly up the charts, however, when I watched Michael Palin's travelogue for the BBC by this same title a few months ago.  I really enjoyed it, especially since Michael Palin is one of my favorite Pythons, and he talked so much about the original book throughout the series that I decided I had to read it for myself.

As you've probably observed, all three of these books are by the same publisher, Collector's Library.  Of course, lots of us bibliomaniacs want matched sets of our books if possible, right?  And if you like reading classic literature, and haven't yet discovered the Collector's Library, indulge me for a moment while I close with a rhapsody to them, okay?  Because you really need these beautiful little books in your life.

As a graduate student, I had access to a really huge, impressive library for the first time in my life, and I could lay my hands on some copies of my favorite authors' works that were published closer to the times in which they actually lived.  This was my first real exposure to the kind of diminutive, pocket-sized volumes that characters are constantly reading in Regency period pieces, especially Jane Austen film adaptations, and I just loved them.  When you're a college student, weighted down everywhere you go by a bookbag filled with at least five textbooks, and insist on having a piece of fiction about your person at all times to safeguard your own sanity, pocket-sized is a VERY good thing.

All of the Collector's Library books are this size, and they just feel so satisfying to hold while you read; they fit so snugly into the hand.  Most of them contain the original illustrations, especially if those illustrations were a well-known and integral part of the first publication.  They're clothbound hardbacks, always unabridged, yet their pages are a good deal thicker than the Bible-like tissue paper you might expect from a large volume such as The Pickwick Papers.  Each has a ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding.  Best of all, they're ridiculously low-priced!  Honestly, no one from this publisher has ever contacted me, or offered me so much as a plug nickel.  I just had to talk them up because, with the economy in the state it's in, I don't want the Collector's Library to be the next casualty and go the way of Borders (R.I.P.); I would be horrified if I didn't have my beautiful little editions of the great classics available to buy anymore!

Anyway, that's my inbox for the past week, and I'm greatly looking forward to diving into each one--somewhere around mid-2012, I should imagine.  *sigh*


  1. I have a couple of these pocket-size books too (The Picture of Dorian Gray and Sense & Sensibility). They're so cute! I'm also a big collector of the pocket size vintage mysteries that came out from about 1930-mid-1960s.

  2. I absolutely love your blog, and I've already put a link to it on my blog. I'm a very-very-newbie blogger, and your blog gives me lots of inspiration. I think we are kindred spirits when it comes to our taste in literature :)
    My blog is gibbee.blogspot.com

  3. thanks for visiting! I too have a "read some day" list but haven't even gone as far as formalizing it mentally.

    I have the matching Uncle Tom's Cabin! Still unread, sigh

  4. Hello!

    I popped into your blog a couple of days ago, having been drawn by the post on your Medieval Challenge at A Novel Challenge. I must say, I really like your idea and I am tempted to join in. Unfortunately, 12 books are a lot for me in a year. Three or four I'm sure I could do. So, I'm still hemming and hawing. Is it okay if I stick to three?...just wondering. :)


  5. Risa,
    Why not just come along and join us for the fun of it? Even if you won't have officially accomplished the challenge, we'd love to hear monthly updates from you along with everyone else about how your medieval reading is going. Three or four books is better than none! Besides, once you get into it, you might surprise yourself and read more than you think. Just go ahead and join up at the monthly link. After all, this is ultimately about getting to know other book bloggers as much as anything. Thanks for stopping by, and we look forward to seeing you on the challenge in January!

  6. You have a point.:D Thank you, JNCL! I'll sign up for the challenge soon, and will look forward to some good medieval reading with the rest of you.:)

    Btw, I only just got around to reading this post - I'm happy for you! I always get excited when I buy a new set of classics - it's a special sort of excitement. And I know what you mean about matching your classic sets. I try to get the Penguin Popular Classics prints for most of my classics....when I don't get them from Penguin then I go for another publisher.

    Happy reading!:)


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