Beyond the Stacks

Since this blog was for a long time dedicated to well, Life, Literature, and Lewd Comments it seems somehow appropriate that the latest release from J and I Publishing is a bibliophiles color book. With a multitude of reading nooks and books to color, this book brings pleasure to the life of any avid reader.

So take the time to check out this new release and broaden your horizons.

beyond the stacks

Description

Step into a comfortable reading nook and pick up a book to relax with. In this color book you will find books, reading nooks and shelves filled to the brim for you to color and make your own. Take some time away from your everyday stress and bring these books to life. There are multiple styles of images included in this book ranging from easier to more complex designs, so colorists of all ages can find something to enjoy.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

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Collection Book of the Week – Sir Percy Hits Back

Once again it would appear that I have been remiss in my blog duties and have not posted a solitary post for a week, not even a reblog. How the fuck can I expect to retain any followers, I do not know, (gratuitous use of the word fuck, I know, but I just had to use it at least once). I have also been neglecting my collection book of the week series, but fortunately found some pictures on my camera that I did not realise that I had with me. So for the joy and wonder of all I shall be able to make another post in this stuttering series. I hope that you enjoy it.

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This book is not especially valuable, but I found it at one of the first book fairs that I ever attended and really liked it. It has sentimental value for that reason and has been included here. The book is ‘Sir Percy Hits Back’, by Baroness Orczy, part of the Scarlet Pimpernel series of novels. I have always enjoyed the Scarlet Pimpernel story. Who wouldn’t? Disguises, rescues and pretending to be a fop and a dandy, whilst all the while being the hero that society is talking about. No, I am not talking about myself here. I cannot honestly say I have ever been accused of being a fop or a dandy, and I am certainly no hero.

So on with the details. I bought this book at a PBFA book fair in Chelmsford a few years back as I was beginning to start collecting books. It cost me the princely sum of £9.00, one of my cheaper acquisitions of the day. I just liked the look and feel of the book. It is amazingly light in weight, and the paper has a soft texture, browning at the edges, but without any real sign of foxing.

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P1000108 P1000106The dust cover is in reasonable condition, with a little loss at the top and bottom of the spine. All in all the book is in nice condition, a slight rolling of the spine is all. This book was published by Hodder and Stoughton Limited and is a seventeenth edition. First published in 1920, this edition was published in 1935, original price two shillings.

It was made and printed by Butler and Tanner Ltd of Frome and London. I liked the similarity of Frome to my surname, sad I know, but these little pleasures amuse me.

So, as I said, not especially valuable, but a nice book, that I am very pleased to have purchased. It would look a lot better on a shelf with others in the series, something I may have to consider looking into.

I hope this is of interest to the ‘many’ followers of my ‘Collection Book of the Week’ series. I will try to do better and keep this going. No doubt I shall return with some more Enid Blyton treasures for your delight and wonderment. For now, that’s all.

Comments as always gratefully received, unless they are bad ones, of course, and even then as long as they are lewd, I’m okay with it.

Collection Book of the Week – Go Ahead Secret Seven

This week’s riveting installment of my ‘Collection Book of the Week’ series will have to be quick as I am rather pushed for time, so I apologise for any errors, or any of those lapses into boringness that we all know I am capable of. Still, I know that there will be many frustrated and disappointed readers out there if I fail to post this week, so here we go. This week sees the featuring of a book from yet another series of Enid Blyton’s children’s adventure stories. Thus far we have seen examples of books belonging to ‘The Famous Five’, ‘The Adventure Series’ and ‘The Mystery Series’. There remains one other major series of Enid Blyton’s children’s adventures that I collect, ‘The Secret Seven’.

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This week’s book of choice is ‘Go Ahead Secret Seven’, the fifth book in the original series of fifteen stories. In addition to these fifteen books, Enid Blyton wrote two books featuring Peter and Janet, the founders of the Secret Seven. ‘At Seaside Cottage’ was set prior to the formation of the Secret Seven, which was formed in ‘The Secret of the Old Mill’. There were, I believe, a number of other stories written in French, by Evelyne Lallemand, many years later. I do not consider them related in any way to the original series, and so that is all the information regarding them that you will get from me.

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Now for the usual boring facts about my copy. I purchased this book from a book fair held at British Motorcycle museum in Birmingham in 2012. It is a first edition, published by the Brockhampton Press in 1953 and originally sold for 6s. The book itself is in pretty good condition and is very solid. The dust cover is also in good condition, with some very minor wear on the corners and spine. As is usual with the Enid Blyton books of this era, there are some really nice illustrations, both as part of the dust cover and internally. The illustrator for this book was Bruno Kay.

So, if you are still awake, prepare for extreme disappointment. There will be no ‘Collection Book of the Week’ post next week. I repeat, NO  post next week. Do not despair however, stop whining, stop wringing your hands in misery, stop wailing in grief. Everything will be alright. I have a different type of post lined up for your enjoyment. It is intended for the 11th August, and that is all I can reveal at the moment.

Comments always welcome.

Collection Book of the Week – The River of Adventure

Having changed the schedule for my weekly book collection post it looks like I may have been successful in actually getting this week’s post out on time. It had to happen eventually, I suppose. Hopefully I will be able to write and schedule next week’s post too, as I will be away for a while over the next couple of weeks and I am not sure how much time I will find to post.

So, I know you are all champing at the bit to once again sample the delights of my book collection, and to that end I shall move onto this week’s collection book of the week with no further delay. The award for this week’s book, although I am not sure it is actually an award, goes to, yet another Enid Blyton title, ‘The River of Adventure’. It should come as no surprise that it is another Enid Blyton book, since as I have mentioned previously, the majority of my collection consists of her titles.

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This is the eighth and final book in Enid Blyton’s Adventure series. The series was originally going to end at the sixth book, ‘The Ship of Adventure’, but due to pressure from readers she relented and added two more titles. This was lucky for me since one of my favourite books of the series was ‘The Circus of Adventure’, the seventh book. My other favourite was the third book, ‘The Valley of Adventure’.

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The copy that I have here is, as far as I can tell, a first edition and was published by Macmillan and Company Limited in1955. The cover price was a snip at 8s 6d, a bargain in my opinion. The dust cover is in reasonable condition, although it is slightly fragmented at the top and bottom of the spine.

This book has a great dust cover illustration making for a very attractive book. The cover illustration, and indeed all of the internal illustrations for this book, and the other seven in the series, were by Stuart Tresilian. I really like his style and it definitely adds to the pleasure that I get from this series.

The joy experienced by books is not restricted purely to the words, but the whole experience. A good book can excite all of the senses, the sight, smell, feel, even the sound of the pages turning. No doubt some smart arse will notice that I haven’t mentioned taste yet, but even that can be excited by a good book. No I am not talking about licking the pages or anything, that would just be weird, but I do find myself licking my lips and clicking my tongue over a good, decent copy of a great book. Yes that may be weird in itself, but I never said I wasn’t odd.

Having recently read first editions of the entire Adventure series, I am eager to start reading the latest editions of them from 2011/2012, as I know there were a number of changes made to bring them up to date and to make them more politically correct and relevant to today’s readers. This is not generally something I approve of and so it will be interesting to see what changes have been made.

Hopefully you will not start getting too bored with the Enid Blyton books, as I have quite a few left to feature. I will to my best to intersperse them with different author’s titles. That said, I expect that next week’s book will also be by Enid Blyton, however I am trying to ensure that I feature different a series each week as well.

As usual, any comments are welcome, be they related to the post or otherwise, and they are especially welcome if they are lewd. Note the new tagline and shock me, reserved Englishman that I am!

Collection Book of the Week – The Mystery of Banshee Towers

Last week I had to apologise for the lateness of my collection book of the week post and yet here we are a week later and I find myself in the exact same position. Rather than apologise, I think I am just going to move the expected publication day of this post to be a vague sometime during the weekend, rather than on a Thursday. History has indicated that I will never achieve that. I have no qualms shifting goalposts as you will no doubt be aware. I hope that those of you that wait on tenterhooks every for each new post in this series will be able to accommodate these changes into your schedules.

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The book for this week is another Enid Blyton book, but this time part of the so called ‘Mystery series’, thus called because the title of each book in the series  begins ‘The Mystery of…’ This series follows the adventures of the ‘Five Find Outers and Dog’. This is yet another example of Enid Blyton’s formulaic approach to her children’s adventure stories. I have often considered how these stories generally consist of the same elements – some children and a clever pet, some stupid villains that are always outfoxed by the children, a stupid policeman that never believes them, a clever, high up policeman who thinks they are just dandy, and a healthy smattering of prejudice and bigotry that would nowadays be considered very politically incorrect.

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I acquired this book at the Birmingham book fair, held at the British Motorcycle Museum in 2012. It is a first edition published by Methuen in 1961. The dust cover is in fairly good condition, as is the book itself.

I know that I have mentioned it before, but I really enjoy the feel of these books and the dust cover designs are always interesting and descriptive of the contents of the book. In fact, I know of many collectors that purely collect Enid Blyton first editions for the dust cover designs.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s book, although I expect by now many of you are becoming understandably bored of hearing about my book collection, and that I am just speaking to myself. Still, I enjoy the sound of my own voice such a lot that I will continue with this series for the foreseeable future. Don’t forget, the next post in this compelling series will be available for your reading pleasure next weekend.

Collection Book of the Week – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Well this post is a little late this week and you have my apologies for that. I have been carefully considering my words this week in order to not have to relive the horrors and fallout of last week’s crime against blog posts. I have in fact received an award for the world’s most boring post, from Ionia, and will be posting my humble acceptance shortly. I haven’t done so yet as I have been seriously considering my ability to fulfil the  requirements of the award, which are to post five things about myself that are not boring.

The book for this week is one that I am sure many of you are familiar with, Douglas Adam’s, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. I don’t really know too much about this book, but I believe that it was originally issued as a paperback. The copy that I have is the UK first hardback edition. I appears that there were actually two different dust covers used, the first featuring an advertisement for Capricorn one on by Bernard L Ross, the second with a plain blue back. The edition I have has the plain back.

The story was originally presented as a radio play before being turned into a book, with the UK first edition being published in 1979. Interestingly, Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge, England, my local city, not that I ever saw him strolling around. The dust cover on my version is in pretty good nick and I like this relatively simple cover. I think that it is a positive, encouraging sign when there is a giant, gloved hand with a raised thumb in the corner of the cover.

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As you know, my interest in books doesn’t extend to purely financial considerations, however I did manage to purchase this book at a hospital book stall for the princely sum of 50p, that is half of 1GBP for those not overly familiar with pence. A quick check on the internet found the same book in similar condition for sale for about a thousand times what I paid for it. No doubt I have made some terrible error and my copy is worthless, but you win some, you lose some.

Well I realise that this post did not reach the heights of humour experienced in my Déjà vu – Surely Not post, but hopefully it has exceeded that, totally invisible, possibly even non-existent, line between butt numbingly boring, and acceptable. I shall await with bated breath the verdict on this post. Just crossing my fingers too!

Comments are, as always, received with pleasure, assuming they are pleasant ones. Please don’t forget to comment on my Another Complaint post if you have any ideas for a new tag line. I am hoping to potentially christen my blog on Tuesday.

Collection Book of the Week – The Naked Lunch

Naked lunch cover

So here is part two in my series looking at the meagre contents of my collection of first edition books. For more general information please see my previous post here. So, in addition to the Enid Blyton books that we discussed, I enjoy Beat Generation authors, although I do not have many examples in my collection. I do however have a copy of the first UK edition of ‘The Naked Lunch’ by William Burroughs. Since it is only a first UK edition it is not worth anything like the original Olympia Press edition, the true first edition. It is, however, the book that I have spent the most on in my collection. This is one of my favourite collection books having a really interesting cover, although I confess I have never actually read the book itself. I do have a paperback copy that I am trying to get to.

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So the UK first edition was published in 1964 by John Calder (publishers) Ltd. This copy is in pretty good condition with solid boards and no evidence of rolling of the spine. The dust cover is in pretty good condition too, although I have just noticed a small tear at the bottom, on the back, rather annoyingly. It is not price clipped and was originally available for 42s (shillings). I purchased this at the Cambridge Book Fair in 2012, an annual event that seems to exist purely to empty my wallet, every time I go. Oh, and there are lots of very cool books there too.

Another interesting thing about this book was that when examining it I found inserted between two pages an old, yellowed, newspaper clipping about William Burroughs from what looks to be the Guardian Newspaper. I am not sure of the date of that, but it was nice to find this extra little piece of history, despite it being an article slating Burrough’s book , ‘Nova Express’.

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Hopefully this has been of some interest. Another exciting instalment next week. I am sure you can hardly contain your excitement. What shall I pick next, I wonder. Comments are always welcomed, as usual.