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*