Friday, 27 December 2013

The Book Jar Pick Happens This Week

Years ago I used to copy out reading lists required in schools and then put them in a box. It was just an ordinary shoe box, nothing fancy. Then I'd pick a slip of paper and read the book listed on it. It was fun but then life got in the way and the idea disappeared.

Years later, well really, decades later I was reading Alex in Leed's blog (here) and she did a lovely post about her book jar. She used coloured squares of paper folded up with many names of books hidden away.

It has been sticking in my mind ever since I read it. It's a lovely way to pick books off the shelf randomly when one no longer wishes to make anymore decisions for the day.

Yesterday I decided to do a big clean up of some back issues of 'book magazines'.  They set on shelves for ages waiting for me to read all of the books listed in them. Well we all know that is not going to happen.

I had a bit of a rethink and decided to tear them apart. That's right. In keeping the Book Jar idea alive I sat outside with the dogs while they played in the sun and reread many of the magazines with a pair of scissors.  I snipped out book review after book review after book review. Then I snipped apart the Persephone catalogue and the Folio Society catalogue and the local indie book store flyers.

Each one of the snips went into the book  jar.  Then I threw in another list or two of books I'd written down I want to read.  I actually had to get a bigger jar.  I had a very large pickle jar that was empty and now it is filled with the titles of many books.

For 2014 I plan on having a very random reading year. But I think it will be lots of fun.  Books on my own TBR shelves will be chosen by from my inventory on My Library Thing. They will be the main focus.

The Book Jar will be extra books I get to choose to reward myself for being so good and reading already owned books.  I actually noticed that some of these choices are also on my shelves so already it is looking promising. I also won't need to give up library books or heaven forbid, buying a new one.

I plan to continue to add to the book jar as new book titles become available as I listen to radio interviews, read newspaper Sunday mags and hear about them from friends. I will simply add them to the jar and see what crops up during the year.  Travellin Penguin is quite excited as many of the books in the jar have been published by Penguin Books and we have vintage copies of them.

Christmas saw me receiving a very generous gift voucher for books. I do look forward to using it.  After all I do want to keep up with  modern times and I am in a monthly book club. I think I'll have a good round up of things to really get stuck into this next year.

I am looking forward to seeing what the Pickle Jar tosses up for the new year.

I know Alex has enjoyed her Book Jar but does anyone else choose books randomly?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Preparing for the New Year of Books

I really LOVE this time of year. I am not talking about the lead up to Christmas. I find the lead up to Christmas quite stressful and very tiring. Mostly I put too many expectations on myself and then feel bad when I can't meet them. This year I had an excuse to not send out many gifts, no cards, no dinners out in a festive spirit. I was travelling overseas and came home only recently.  So I am doing that poster thing that says, "Stay calm and _____" and have decided to put "get on with the book plans for 2014."
I love the clean slate feeling of a new year. If only they wouldn't go by so quickly. It all feels so fresh.

Today I was meant to be going on our Sunday motorbike ride with our group. The plan was to ride south of the state to Southport. It is a good couple of hours riding down winding, narrow two lane roads and although very beautiful, full concentration on a motorbike is needed.  Well it rained this morning and it has continued to rain all day long. It is chilly out. As I did 170 km ride last night with 9 other people I didn't force myself out of bed for today's ride. I doubt many people did. I wonder if anyone showed up in fact.

I decided to clean the bookshelves in the bedroom while listening to the ABC (Australia Broadcast) classical music station. Get rid of the hairballs, the dust, the myriad of magazines to be sorted and read. Reading books is one thing but what about all the extra things we read. Sunday inserts of magazines about books and art. Literary magazines. Magazines about books, I especially follow Good Reading Magazine (here) which I subscribe to and love, and while in the USA I picked up Bookmarks which I also like.

Then there is the Independent Fuller's Book Shop's Summer Reading Guide. I love the summer reading guide. There are 10 questions scattered throughout the magazine (that is free). In order to answer the questions you have to read every review about every book. I enjoy it but there is always one question that is so hard to find the answer to.  I have begun. The prize is a copy of every book in the entire magazine. A HUGE prize. One I'd love to win. One I'd dread if I did win. So many books.

So now I have vacuumed up the dustballs from under the shelves, wiped the shelves down, dusted the books and put a few next to the bed to begin right away.  Our Feb book for Book Group is The List of My Desires by Gregoire Delacourt.

 I also have a copy of Marian Keyes book, The Mystery of Mercy Close that my good friend Kate loaned me. I need to read it. I need to return it to her so she doesn't think it is lost.
I also have a copy of a book I won from Simon of Stuck in a Book.  It is a lovely old copy of Literary Lapses by Stephen Leacock dated 1917 that fits into my Century of Books Challenge.

The books I am really going to focus on during the coming year are those in my own library. I have stated this before so won't belabour the point but I do need to get a move on reading these books and releasing them into the wild. There are many I will pass on once I finish with them.

Photo source
Alex in Leeds Blog
There are quite a few, of course including my Penguins I won't be passing on any time soon. But the fluffy novels can be given to others. So stay tuned for some giveaways.  I am seriously thinking of creating a book jar of all the books listed on My Library Thing numbered 1 - 3000+. (See Alex's post from Alex in Leeds) If I pick out say book number 345 I will go to my Library Thing listing and choose the 345th book on the list. I will include a few R cards for Random which means I can choose anything. I think this will be a fun way to rediscover the books I own as I know there are many I have forgotten live with me.

Another interesting thing I read each day is a book quotation of the day from Good Reads website.  I get the quotation in a daily Email and there is a single sentence of the day about the author. Most of the authors are novelists or poets and quite obscure in many cases.  I have decided to have a Good Reads quote day on the 1st of each month during the year. I will post the quote on the blog and write a paragraph about the author and maybe what he/she has written.  I will try and use more than just Wikipedia.  It is a fun way of becoming familiar with authors I have never heard of. I think it will be fun. If I can find a photo of the author I will include that as well.

I think the structure of Travellin' Penguin's blog is taking shape nicely and to summarise the following year you can expect the following from Travelling' Penguin and myself.

  • Book Jar of my own library including all the Penguins and non Penguins listed on My Library Thing link (here)
  • Quote of the day's author information on the first day of each month with a bit of information about the author to share with others.  Quotes provided by Good Reads website. Will be interesting to know if others know the person of the day and can also share information about him/her.
  • Travellin' Penguin and I will continue riding around the country side on my Piaggio BV350 cc Penguin Hunter II. This will include books found in the community charity shops, cafes, camping trips and photography from the places we haunt.
  • Any interesting book trivia or websites or other information from magazines that might be of interest to the sponge like brains that all bibliophiles have out there.  There will be information on book fairs and visiting authors as they may arise. I think it will be a fun year and it all begins on 1 January, 2014.   A very happy New Year to everyone out there and be sure to stop by.  I will also give away books on my Facebook page so if you'd like to be a Facebook friend you're certainly welcome, (here).

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Something to share from Penguin Books blog

I just read the latest update on the Penguin Books publishing blog and was delighted to see current Penguin authors reading Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I enjoyed it so much I thought I'd share it with others. Click on the link below.

Source:  Penguin Books Publishers- The Penguin Blog
                                                Twas the Night Before Christmas

I have learned so much this past year from other book bloggers. I have become a more concentrated reader, have made lovely friends and it is really great to interact with other book lovers from around the world.

Although there are so many books in the world that often I do feel completely overwhelmed by choice and also frustration at knowing I'll never even get to a smidgen of them. However I have been motivated greatly for the next year by others.

  • Next year the Travellin' Penguin and I will continue to work together in searching for more vintage Penguin books for the collection.  I plan on reading more of the vintage Penguin books next year and he plans on travelling with me through books that are not related to the Penguin family.
  • We will be focusing on the books in our house.  Books in the front room library, books in the bedroom on the reference shelves, books in the hallway where there is little sun to fade the collectibles hidden there. The world in our home is a haven for books, we will travel to various countries, meet wonderful and maybe scary people. Our adventures may be current or we will visit the past. We might even take on the fantasy of the distant future.
  • We are going to pay extra attention to what we learn from books. We will learn what makes us laugh and what makes us cry (not too many animals tales though for sadness). Travellin' Penguin will have new clothes to match the books he visits and we will share our thoughts with anyone who is interested.
  • We would also like to find new places to read our books. Maybe at the cafe in the bookshop? Maybe in the Parliament chair that my sister made for me when here (I really do need to do a blog about this chair in my back yard.) Maybe we'll take some old beat up weathered book to the beach with the dogs and sit there for an afternoon.  There will be a book in the campground packed with my tent under the seat of  the big scooter with the camera. 
  • There will be photos of Penguin hunting in our beautiful state of Tasmania. 

It is all going to be wonderful.  What makes the beginning of 2014 even more wonderful is that we are now in our summer. The weather should be gorgeous and there will be festivals and activities as well as films and walks under clear blue skies.  Travellin' Penguin and I  won't blink because we might miss it all.

I would like to thank everyone who visited our little corner of the world and please come back in January to see what bookish news we have to offer. I have some posts almost finished of some bookstores I visited in the USA recently and photos of new books that I brought home.

May everyone have a safe and very Happy Holiday and New Year. 

Now go back and watch the video of the Night Before Christmas. 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Back to Australia soon

I am finally in the home stretch of my family trip. I found some wonderful books I will share once I recover from jetlag and race around doing some Christmas thiings. I only found one vintage Penguin book from the main series. However I did buy some lovely and quirky books from a second hand bookshop in Franklin Tennessee. I also got to McKays bookstore in Nashville. I will share both those stories soon. I have also been enjoying Christmas lights both in Tennessee and now in northern California.

Thanksgiving was fun being at my brother's family and food was bountiful and delicious.

I arrive in Hobart Thursday evening and am very much looking forward to seeing T.  and the pets. Have missed all of them.

I will be back with book news before long.
In the meantime I hope everyone is enjoying the lead up to the big holidays.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Travelling Offers Little Time for Reading

Okay, I am trying to catch up but haven't had a lot of time.  Am reading and will write about some of that later on but I can say the best book I've read lately is called  Stop What You're Doing and Read This.  It is a collection of essays written by writers such as Jeanette Winterson, Zadie Smith and Mark Haddon to name a few.

I would read an essay or two each night before lights out and I think it is one of the most inspiring reads about reasons to read I have come across in ages.  I will definitely reread it once I get home because I'd like to pay more attention to it.

There were so many quotes I'd like to share and it is the first book I have gone through with a pen, yes not pencil, but a pen and marked thought after thought so I could come back to them.

I would like to share some of those quotes at the end of future
posts and I know the Travellin' Penguin would get a big kick out of them as well.

I think I may do a bit of that in the future.  It's lovely to read other people's thoughts about what they read and also why they read.  So many different thoughts out there in the world about books, E-books and other forms of writing.

I find as I sit in airports I cannot concentrate reading much because of the noise. I need a quiet environment to read these days so once I get on the plane I reach into my stash of newspaper pages, Sunday supplements, previously cut out articles and small books of essays or short stories as well as magazines.  It is only the long haul overseas flights where I can actually settle into a novel as I find watching movies impossible as sound systems are so poor. So not many movies for me even if there is a good title or two.

As I am visiting several friends and relatives and computers are of varying availability I must rely on the good hearted nature of everyone to use theirs as I haven't brought my laptop with me this trip.  I don't see family members very often so don't get on line much other than to check messages from home and the occasional Facebook page.

I will be back with  more regularity in future and must say I do enjoy tapping into a post of one of my favourite blogs listed on this site to see what others are doing in the meantime. It is more motivation and creates a bit of excitement of things to put online once I get home. Being away from home offers time for thoughts and reflection on more directions for my own writings to go.

I imagine things here will be a bit hit and miss until after Christmas when Australian summer well and truly bursts onto the scene in Tasmania and long lazy days will permit many activities I enjoy  including spending time with the Travellin' Penguin's adventures. Happy Thanksgiving to the American readers. I am spending it in Tennessee with my elderly mother and brother's family and it is the first one I've had together with my sister who is flying in from California, brother and mother all in the same place since childhood. That was a long time ago. Thankful times.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Jack London Book Illustrations - First Edition covers.

This is the second part of my short Jack London series. If you have missed it you can read it in the previous post.  Jack London was introduced to me at a very young age. His name was always around us growing up in Michigan even though he was a Californian. His books appealed to young and old and the stories of Call of the Wild and White Fang were harsh introductions into the wildnerness that was north of our country. Stories of the Yukon were always popular with kids and not only the boys. I loved them though they weren't always easy stories. Especially if you loved animals the way I did.

The Jack London Historic site has published a calendar for 2014 and illustrated it with his first edition book covers.  I really enjoyed looking at all of them so thought I would share them in the event there may be other Jack London fans out there.  So if you're not a Jack London fan then stop here but if you enjoy book covers from the early 1900's have a look.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Jack London Historic Museum and Park Part I

I first read about the Jack London Historic Park in the Good Reading magazine (here) in Australia. As soon as I saw the article I put it on my list of things to do when I got to my sister's place in northern California.
As it turned out the park is only an hour's drive from her house and she had never heard of it.  So Sunday morning we loaded the car with picnic food and drinks and off we went.

From San Francisco you drive north to Sonoma and then onto Glen Ellen. The centre is a part of Glen Ellen and very easy to find. Ask any local.

Driving through Glen Ellen.
 We got a bit waylaid at the Jack London wine and chocolate centre and we had to pick up a few things at the Jack London shopping centre and deli.  Do you think maybe they use his name a bit much?

We found the park with no trouble at all and parked the car, waved at some ladies in the carpark who had finished their ride with their horses and we walked back towards Jack's house.

Jack London's history is an incredible one. The things he accomplished in his very short life amazed us.
(main source of following information from Jack London Ranch Album -Heritage Publishing Co- Valley of the Moon Natural History Assoc.)

Born in San Francisco in 1876 he went on to do the following things:
  • 1885: Discovered the world of books at Oakland Public Library where he became avid reader
  • 1889: Graduated from Oakland Cole Grammar School and did odd jobs to buy a skiff and sail around Oakland Bay
  • 1890-91: Worked full time at a pickle cannery. Quit that job and bought a sloop with borrowed money
  • 1893: Sailed as a seaman for seven months to Japan
    Jack London's Library and writing room

    A scene from one of the bedrooms
  • 1893-94: Worked as a laborer in Oakland but tiring of this became a hobo and travelled much of the USA and Canada
  • 1895-7: Completed course at Oakland High School and attended University of California Berkeley
  • 1897: Traveled to Klondike for gold rush but did not strike it rich
  • 1898-9: Unable to find employment, began writing 19 hours a day. Rejected for months before first sale to Overland Monthly for $5.00
  • 1900: On 7 April married E. Maddern. Evidently his first marriage was not a love match but a marriage of convenience and to bring forth healthy children.  He also met Charmian  Kittredge (his future wife and love match)
The stables where he kept his shire horses.

The vineyards in front of his house. (in fall colour)

  • 1901: Daughter born
  • 1902: Second Daughter born while Jack was vacationing in Europe after spending 3 months on assignment in London.
    Jack London
  • 1903: Publication of 2 significant books: Call of the Wild and People of the Abyss, an in-depth sociological study of the slums of London. Separated from his wife.
  • Set up a ranch, buying more land over coming years and instigating agricultural practices based on the Chinese practices that were 4000 years old. 
  • He also preached about Socialism at Yale University. He preached widely against capitalism after observing the extreme poverty in the streets of London when living in England.
  • 1904 Covered the Russo-Japanese war for Hearst Publications
  • 1905 Married Charmiane Kittredge after separating and divorcing his first wife. 
  • 1916: After a history with kidney disease he died 22 November.
He died at the age of 40 having written more than 50 books and countless numbers of short stories and magazine articles.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Penguins and Sandcastles

As readers of this blog will know I am visiting family in the USA.  For some reason I have not had much jet lag, must have been all the drinking of water and the lovely flight I had on Virgin Airlines even if the food wasn't that great. 
Urban Ore- Novato CA
 I am visiting my sister who lives just north of San Francisco.  Yesterday she took me to a second hand bookshop in quite a posh suburb and it was the most sanitized shop I have ever seen. Books weren't very old and in excellent to mint condition. Lots of beautiful novels by great authors but I couldn't get in the mood. It was too clean.

I really like a bookshop that puts dust in my nose and dirt on my hands.  The kind where you find wonderful old quirky and out of print books and sneeze the whole time you're looking at them.

I thought this was quite touching.
Today we found such a place. My sister has taken me to it before when I have visited. It is called Urban Ore and is in the Novato area north of San Francisco. Any local would be familiar with it because it is like the largest tip shop known to man. There are old pianos, doors, window frames, dishes, clutter and you name it you will find some version of it.

My sister was looking at old doors with glass panels in it. I went straight to the books and records. I listened to the Beatles 65 LP album as I rummaged through shelves of books. Good condition? Most of them. Dusty? Absolutely. Fun? Yes

Now, my friends know I collect vintage Penguin books and I have never found a vintage English published Penguin book in the USA in my life.  But this area has lots of universities and lots of readers and they read Penguins at one time.  I found one vintaged numbered Penguin from the main series. I didn't have my  list with me and I probably already have it. It does look familiar but it was the only Penguin in the place and the book area is very large. 


Of course I bonded with the little fella and thought, "Right. Now you will live in a large colony of Penguin books in Tasmania for many years to come."  So into the bag he went.  I also found another Penguin book that is part of the Penguins 70 anniversary series which is newer but they are lovely little books. These seemed to be the only two Penguins in the place so thought they'd travel back to Australia better together than alone. After all it is a long flight.

The other books looked interesting as reading books so I picked them up as well.

Books bought included: Vintage Penguin No. 1922, Henry James, Spoils of Poynton; Melissa Bank's The Worst Thing a Suburban Girl Could Imagine (Penguin 70's series); Circuit by F. Jimenez, Story of a Migrant and A Signature On A Portrait- Highlight's of Tolstoy's Thoughts. This little book is also signed by the author. He evidently lives in California so must have been locally published.

The rest of the day was spent at Ocean Beach in San Francisco attending a sand castle competition near the Cliff House.  We walked several miles down the beach and back and by the end of the day I was happy to get back to my sister's place to now collapse into bed.  Funny how jet lag starts to catch up about 2 or 3 days later.
This book is Moby Dick. There was a large whale nearby but the book caught my attention.

The Sydney Opera House. It was next to the Great Wall of China exhibit.

The Statue of Liberty
So American Penguin hunting has begun and so far it is going okay.  But lots of fun is being had along the way. We still have several weeks to go.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Almost a Penguin Pot

As this post is published I will be cramped into an economy seat on a Virgin Airline flight to San Francisco from Hobart/Sydney probably trying to either sleep or read. Maybe I'll be engrossed in a good movie. I remember the last time I flew long distance (home from England) I watched the entire series I of Downton Abbey. That sure helped with the long time in a small seat.

My birthday is happening while I'm away and as my other half Tom will be home caring for our multitude of furry kids I won't be sharing it with him.  Last night he came in with a large box and asked me if I wanted my birthday present early.  What a silly question.  Was he really expecting me to say, "No, I'll wait until I get home." ?

I opened up the large box (don't you just love a large box wrapped up in gift paper), Koko the cat paying close attention to the cord wrapped around it now moving around a fair bit and I was very happy to see this beautifully Penguin orange teapot and two large cups.

I love it. Thank you to Tom, Wally, Koko, Molly, Odie and Uncle Buck who all signed the card.
I'll be home in the Penguin library in no time, with a cup of tea as I catalogue probably yet more books.

It is very lovely when one has a happy day.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Travelling America- Family, Friends and Books

The Penguin and I will be heading to the United States on Thursday morning.  I am not looking forward to the long flights though I always cope with it okay.

The Kindle is loaded with some books. Some of the titles are Murder in Mississippi by John Saffran (Australian view on the trial of an African American man convicted of killing a well known white supremacist). I am already well into it.

I also have Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry's 1985 Pulitzer Prize winner, a Michael Connelly mystery, Dangerous Games by Michael Prescott, The Empty Family by Colm Tóibin, Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon (motorcycle travel book) and Dreaming of Jupiter (the follow up visit years later by Ted Simon).

I included some Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen in case I'm feeling I need some solid brain food too.

E-books are great for travel. All of those stories in one small packet.

Plans so far include visiting my sister just north of San Francisco. Hoping to go to the John Steinbeck Centre in Monterey CA and the Jack London State Park/Museum in Novato California.  Then onto Florida to stay with a friend for a week. We have written to each other for 25 years but not seen one another. We used to work in the same school all those years ago. We're going to do some American Mall shopping and some touristy things in Ft Myers Florida where I used to live. She is taking me on a tourist ranch type tour that often has an alligator on the bus. That could be interesting!

After all that hilarity I'll be flying to Nashville Tennessee to stay with my mother and brother's family for two weeks. That will include a Thanksgiving dinner which I have not done in two decades as well as seeing the Macy's Day parade on TV that morning for the Christmas season kickoff.

I am also hoping to get to a large book shop I mentioned earlier and spend some time with my 'Lil' Brother who I haven't seen in almost 3 years.  My mother is close to 90 years old now and it will be nice to spend time with her. She is addicted to vintage films and no doubt I will see several movies from the 1940's and 50's and she will tell me about everyone who features in them as well as additional stories to go with it. She is to old movies as I am to Penguin books. We love them.

Then I head back to California again for another short week with my sister. I'm hoping we might see City Lights bookstore in San Francisco this year but we'll see what's going on. In any case I'll enjoy the warmer weather I'll have in California and Florida as we're going back into a cold snap here for the next 10 days.

So as they say in Kansas, I'm off to see the Wizard…………..

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Books for the Century 1900- and More.

This week has been very busy and will continue to be now for the next 5 weeks.  I finished Cold Comfort Farm for our Monday night book group. I won't review it because it has been reviewed to death but I will say I really enjoyed it.

It is the story of Flora who is orphaned at the age of 19 and needs to find a place to live. She is a very organised tidy person and she loves nothing more than tidying up everybody else's life.

She writes to all of her relatives, most of whom are very distant and asks for a place to live. She ends up at a distant cousin's farm in rural Sussex and falls into a household of extremely quirky, eccentric cousins.  Her job is then set for her to sort out everyone's life and she doesn't forget the animal's either. The state of the cows and the bull is cringe worthy.

It took me awhile to get into it but once she steps foot onto the farm everything falls into place.  I have read both positive and negative reviews of this book but I would certainly put it in the positive pile.

The writing is good though it takes awhile to get used to the dialect she uses of the countryside.  I always enjoy dialect and I feel it adds a great deal to the feel of the region.

I would definitely recommend this book. It also counts towards my Century of Books challenge (here) as it was published in 1932.  Also it is book number 140 in my vintage Penguin Book Collection.

I am looking forward to the discussion at the book group tomorrow night.

Now, speaking of Century of Books Challenge. I am participating in it but not nearly as quickly as others who have really taken it to heart.  However I did accidentally find a book in my favourite second hand bookshop in Hobart (Imperial Books on Collins St) of this wonderful book that relates to the challenge very, very much.
It is entitled Brilliant Careers: The Virago Book of 20th Century Fiction. It lists the name of an author and the associated chapter provides an excerpt from the recommended book for every year of the 20th century starting with 1901 and ending with 2000.

I have been thinking a great deal about my reading habits for 2014 and I have decided I will very much focus on the books I already own. I also know from perusing my library in The Library Thing that I have a book published for every year of the challenge with the Penguin books alone.  So next year will focus on the Century of Books challenge using my own library of books both Penguin and non Penguin.

Of course I will still look at current books and books that tend to fall out of the sky unexpectedly. But that will be the focus. I actually think I can stick to that plan.

This Thursday I pack up and head to the USA. I will be visiting three states, California (my sister), Florida, (a good friend I haven't seen in years) and Tennessee, (my brother's family and my mother).
How crazy is this? McKay's Bookstore (second hand books,CDs & LPs )
Nashville Tennessee

I hope to visit a second hand book shop in each location and Nashville has an enormous second hand book shop called McKay's  (here).  They have miles of second hand books and they are all organised very well.  So I will continue to be on line with updates and Facebook with trip photos. If you'd like to participate with me on this trip be sure to check back.

I hope anyone interested in the Century of Books challenge will enjoy the Table of Contents list of authors for each year of the 20th Century.  If you can't read the pages and would like more information let me know in the comments section and I'll be happy to send it to you.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Organising the Penguin Books Collection

I have been spending a great deal of time sorting the various series that Penguin Books published between 1935 and 1970 in my extensive collection.

Most people, when they think of a Penguin book think of an often tattered orange book of fiction and that is the end of it.

However there were many different types of Penguin publications and as I travel around by scooter, car or plane I pick up anything I see that was first published (for the most part) by Allen Lane during this time period.

There are also books about him and the innovative publishing achievements during his career.

Penguin books were published in several countries but he was the person who started it all with his vision.  A good read that anyone could afford.

My entire Penguin library is almost finished being inventoried on this blog and about 90% of the collection has been photographed and catalogued on The Library Thing web site.

Anyone who is interested is welcome to peruse the titles, authors and the various series of books that were published by Allen Lane until his death in 1970.  There are also more modern series and individual books published after his death I own, when ISBN numbers came into being,  but the focus of my collection is on those books published between 1935 and 1970 when Allen Lane then died and the publishing company changed hands.

I am not sure what will happen to my library one day but I know it will either be donated or sold as one large collection.  The only way to keep these wonderful books out of landfill and being pulped, 
is to keep them together. I don't think they'd survive for as long if sold individually.

 Hopefully someone will think they are as valuable as I and my friends believe they are and continue to give them a home.

If you'd like to see the lists or donate/sell books you no longer want feel free to go to the inventory lists at the top of the page and see what continues to be missing. All lists are updated regularly.

The lists will never be completed but that is what is so much fun about collecting anything.

The Quest !

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Australia's National Garage Sale is Today

The yellow ones were bartered for in a
2nd hand bookshop here in Hobart.

The rest all came from garage sales. 
Australia is participating in a national garage sale today to raise money for charity.  I think there should have been a lot more publicity about it as many people I spoke to didn't know anything about it.

I was listening to the ABC (Aus) radio this morning, there is a gardening program on every Sat from 9:00 to 10:00 and they were broadcasting it live from the ABC studios live and talked about the garage sale that had been set up there.  The announcer kept saying how many people were selling books.

The aim of this national sale is to encourage everyone to hold a garage sale, do a big spring clean and donate a portion of the money earned to charities of your choice.

The wind, as is usual for the past 4 weeks here was howling up a storm and I, for one, am sick and tired of the noise.  So I put on my motorbike gear and off I went in search of garage sales and fresh air while doing a bit of Penguin hunting.

The Ship is new to me and I can never have too
many James Thurber books. I love him.
I visited some second hand book shops as well but had much better luck at the garage sales and even the local Tip shop had some Penguin books on their shelves.  As the garage sales and Tip shop were only charging 50 cents a book I picked up anything vintage, first published by Penguin that I could find.

To put it mildly I think I hit the mother lode.  I was leaving the Tip shop, my last scheduled stop of the day, the wind was still blowing but now it had started to rain, I was getting tired after having walked all over Salamanca market and around the ABC studios. Also it looked like snow clouds moving in over the mountain.

I cranked up Beverley (my scooter's name as it is a 350 cc Piaggio Beverley) and headed towards home. I only had 1.5 km to go.  As I steered my way out of the Tip shop and down the road, there in front of me was a large sign in a driveway that said "Book Sale".  It was up a steep hill of a driveway and it was raining but I could see a lot of books in their carport. So I pulled up, popped the helmet onto my mirror (as you do) and climbed the hill.

Very strange cover for Owls & Satyrs. Going to
have a good look at it.
I immediately found 2 orange Penguins.  I then asked the  man if they had any more Penguins.  He said, "There are some green ones around here somewhere."  Sure enough there were some green ones. When he saw me pick up the bunch of them (50 cents each- I didn't care if I already had them as any duplicate books I have I will pass on to a friend or sell them myself on eBay or at auction). After all they are green.  The man seemed surprised as I held these Penguins and he ran up the stairs into the house and next thing I know down the stairs comes the wife with another big stack of Penguins in her hands.

So all in all I ended up with a bagful to now transfer to their new home.

I have noticed that as the Baby Boomers continue to downsize their large family homes the first thing they seem to get rid of are their books.  Yes they do hang onto their favourites but many of them seem to be appearing around here. The other day a local woman rang me and had put aside 33 books she knew I didn't have by reading my inventory on this blog site.  So this week has been exceptionally good for Penguin hunting.

After the Penguin drought of the winter spring cleaning is looking better and better.  Now it is time to put them onto Library Thing, onto Travellin Penguin's inventory and shelve them.  I might even get to read them.

Anybody else buy any books this weekend?