"Everyman, I will go with thee, and be thy guide,
In thy most need to go by thy side"
Can there be a sight more destined to gladden the heart of a bookaholic than a stack of new Everyman's Library titles?
Those little pocket-sized titles that line the shelves of second-hand bookshops revamped and reborn in 1991 into these editions which quickly found a place in my heart.
Affordable, beautifully presented classics "easy-to-read typographic design, sewn cloth bindings with top and tail bands and a silk ribbon-marker, acid-free paper which will not discolour with age, as well as substantial introductions by leading scholars and writers"
There is something worthwhile yet indefinable for me to have books I have loved in a handsome edition.I like but don't love Folio editions and have gathered a few on the way but these are hardly affordable. Everyman's Library editions are in another league for me and I have quite a few.
Thanks to Everyman I now have a few more and I'm afraid I've allocated an inordinate amount of time to stroking and browsing these since they arrived.
As well as all the old favourites, new classics are constantly being added and they have included Penelope Fitzgerald in these so I heartily approve because to my mind her name and work was a gaping omission from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die compilation.
I've made a start on Scoop by Evelyn Waugh and already I'm in fits of mirth and Roald Dahl's Collected Stories are also going to get a daily airing. Kiss Kiss was THE book that did the rounds of Form Vc and kept us talking for weeks back in the 1960's, as we sat on our desks and played cards at lunchtime somehow persuading the Prefects on patrol that we were far too senior to be sent outside.
I now have divine copies of old favourites, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Radetsky March by Joseph Roth which I will treasure, some more P.G.Wodehouse's and some new titles to read including my planned Dickens of a Christmas Read for this year - one must plan early for Christmas, it's nearly August.
Anyone else out there who would like to join in with this one please do, plenty of time to plan and any Dickens will do.
I'm known not to be a devotee of the great man, apart from Our Mutual Friend, we just don't love each other Charlie and I, but I am assured Bleak House will change all that and also assured that it must be read in the Everyman's Library edition to guarantee a 100% success rate. This could be where I slipped up with my old Penguin edition of David Copperfield last Christmas and was dying of something verging on ennui after 200 pages.
Prior to that A Tale of Two Cities had me plain confused.
A sin, a sin, I know but I couldn't get a grip on it at all.I'm sure an Everyman edition would have held my attention.
Meanwhile back to my Waugh anthology.
How I've missed Scoop after all these years I can't imagine and in this edition it is followed by The Loved One, another spectre from the era of Form Vc at Nonsuch Girls, who now I think on it had an odd and very quirky shared sense in humour and books.