I prefer stuff from the 1950s and early 1960s -- more specifically, Bantams and Signets. They tend to have a few things going for them: They smell amazing, they have delightfully campy covers and the "about the author" pages are top-notch.
But I think what I love the most about these editions is that I was first exposed to them during my childhood, thanks to the shelves at my grandmother's house where I grew up. Those shelves are lined with books that my uncles and mother obtained during their childhoods, books that fascinated and engrossed me as a kid.
For example, the latest book I'm reading is John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men -- which I've never read before, if you can believe it. I've spent literally a day and half searching for an old copy. What's funny is when I call the used bookstores and ask for the oldest copy they have available, it often ends up being something from, like 1993. Which I don't want, of course. I mean, I was alive in 1993. I was 13 and fully conscious. What's special about that?!
So I called everyone in town, from Mr. K's Used Books to Sullivan's Trade-a-Book to even Dream-a-Lot Books in Goose Creek in search of a respectably old edition of the novel. No dice. They either had no copy whatsoever, or they had a nice, shiny copy produced during my years on this planet. Bleh.
Undeterred, I finally ordered a 1955 copy online this morning, which should get to me in a few days. Until then, I'm begrudgingly reading my library copy so I don't get behind, but I can hardly wait til my oldie arrives in my mailbox. Here's what it looks like. Pretty cool.
Also, I had an idea. What do y'all think about a phone app for vintage book scouters like myself? The app could let us know what copies of a book are nearby and what the edition is. It's food for thought, anyway.
I don't plan to stop buying vintage books anytime soon, even on the days that it proves a difficult sport. As long as I'm reading the classics (which I always will be) I think I should have classic copies.
And you can call me a book snob. I won't mind.
|Napping with my Signet Classic edition of Great Expectations on my face. Ha.|