Monday, 8 April 2013

Reading Copies

Having fancy editions of books never really interested me. I was never that kind of book collector. It's always been about having reading copies for me, and the more worn favourite books became, the more I loved them. Having said that, there are particular books that are very precious - such as that hard back first edition of 'Maybe the Moon' signed by Armistead Maupin. But that's because of the number of times I read it, and the day (twenty years ago!) Alicia and I went to see him read from it at a 'literary luncheon' in Manchester. 

I mentioned the other day that I was struggling to read the tiny, smudgy print in my awful 1990s paperback of Michael Ende's 'The Neverending Story'. In the end, that day, I gave up, and Fester and I watched the lovely movie instead. (Why were so many sci-fi / fantasy paperbacks of the 1990s punishingly difficult to read? And I don't just mean the contents...) 

I ordered from the US - and just received in the post - a slightly dear and somewhat battered - hardback from 1983. It's a cheery, almost sunny, almost spring day - for walking round to the post office - and picking up a copy of this particular, magical book. 

And look! The text is printed in green and red! One colour for sections in our world, presumably, and the other for when we slip into Fantastica. (The colour blind wouldn't see any different between the worlds...) It seems like a sweet caprice on the part of the publishers, back in 1983, to go to that expense - just to delight me, all these years later.

Do you buy fancy editions of books? You still read them though, don't you? Pristine books are one of the nicest things in the world, but they aren't supposed to stay that way...


  1. I didn't turn down the chance to own a hardcover reprint of "The Maltese Falcon" - especially when it was a remaindered copy. It's a nice one. There are some exceptions. ;)