2 March 2010

penguin books

inspired by nechtans photograph of himself reading jps-nausea, i thought about my library of books. the stack above are old classic penguins, they smell as good as they look. i purchased quite a few of them in a new/second hand book shop in sydenham, not a fashionable part of london, but an excellent book shop. the type when the owners care about books. a few of my favourites, stella gibbons-cold comfort farm, laurie lees- as i walked out on midsummer morning. turning the pages, some of them are falling apart you get a waft of musty second hand books, mmmmmm. i must have an audit, i know i have quite a few that ive simply bought and not read, and some were given to me years ago, i couldnt bare to donate or give them away so i kept the lot.

i have one precious copy of rose tremains sacred heart, signed by the author nearly twenty years ago now, which was a good read. loved italo calvino, jack kerouac, salingers franny and zooey, simone de beauviour, siddhartha, lots by hermann hesse, the unconsoled, many many more. i will keep my favourites and carefully choose which ones i no longer read. or maybe i will wait and do it another day/month.


Anonymous said...

Hi Em,

Great collection you have there. I have a few Penguin classics too. They were all bought new but now well aged- though missing that old bookshop smell which I love. I can understand your reluctance to part with them. I won't give any away and when I lend a book out I pester people until I get it back.

I think the memories they hold of the places they take us makes it difficult to part with them. You just never know when you might want to return there again.

All the best


Coffeecup said...

It's hard to part with books. Thing is, you can always read them again and again. I'd been collecting books from fairs and places for years and years, then when I split from my ex he 'lost' the lot. Felt as if I was missing a limb! I totally understand why you love them so much. Hmm, I can smell the musty pages from here.

Lovely! xx

Rusty Hoe said...

I love my Penguin classics. Those little orange books are great on a budget. For Christmas this year I was given 6 of the special edition classics they put out beautiful designer clothbound classics, almost too beautiful to open. I have them on my bedside table so I can just look at them. My fav is the one of 'Madame Bovary' Hot Pink and Vibrant Purple floral. Gorgeous. They look anf feel like real books, if that makes sense. I've put my hand up for the rest of the collection (20 in total) for all the next birthdays, christmas etc. I can never part with any of my books.

Anonymous said...

ooh i love Rose Tremain and i can also smell that book smell!

Em said...

hi nechtan

i new i had a copy of nausea! i think the ones that i bought may be harder to part with then the ones that i have been given. im not sure why i feel like this, but i need a clear out. soon. xxx


hi cc

i can imagine how you feel when your books all went walkies. oh i would of been lost to some extent. that smell, the familiar old book shop smell, dont you just love it? xx


hi michelle

your classics sound lovely. madame bovary, im guilty, i have a copy, not as pretty as yours sounds, just a black covered penguin from the early 90s. i can see why you would want the collection. xx


hi ashy

i came across rose tremain a good few years back, i tend to read one book, then work my way through the authors books, so i have a few or hers. that familiar musty smell again, we all know it!!!x

Melinda said...

What a great photo! What a wonderful collection of Penguin classics! Never part with them! (The only thing I feel validated being selfish and consumerist about is books!)

Em said...

hi melinda

i might just take heed of your advice! keep all the books! xxx