1. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Penguin's little black classics.

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Lemex, Apr 3, 2015.

    Have anyone seen these? I think they are fantastic.

    I know I can be a little Penguin fanboy at times. Especially for the big Penguin Classics. These new, much smaller books are very small paper-back pocket books around 60 pages, taking short sections or snatches from the larger Penguin Classics books. You can get, to show their range, a few books from Homer's Odyssey, The Communist Manifesto, one Saga from the Icelandic Sags, a section of Plato's Symposium dialogues, a small collection of poems from the likes of John Keats, Christina Rossetti, Wilfred Owen, Catullus, Sappho, or C.P. Cavafy to name a few. And they are only 80p here in Blighty!

    I honestly recommend them. I recently bought the collection of Cavafy, a poet I've never read before. I have to say I have mixed feelings about the poetry - the first 20 pages were fantastic, but the last 40 pages were all basically the same poem I thought and while technically good was still rather boring.

    Still, despite the content of that Cavafy, which might say something about the selection of material, I must admit I really like these new little books. Even though I get the very distinct impression they are just marketing for the larger Penguin Classics. But still, I think they are a fantastic way to expand your literary horizons, cheap as hell, and you can read them within an hour - half an hour. So really, even if they are a marketing ploy ... I can think of many far worse marketing ploys.

    (as a side note: when I bought my collection of Cavafy the shop keep said Penguin cannot print them fast enough. They are now selling quicker than they are being printed)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I haven't come across the new books you're talking about, but I've loved the Penguin Classics since my freshman year in college. Pretty much the only reason for this is because they're cheap as hell. I've seen Penguin editions for as cheap as $0.25 at used bookstores. :cheerleader:

    I don't know if I'd ever buy these shorter works. I mean, who wants to read only an excerpt of the Odyssey? I'd rather have the whole thing. Bound in leather if possible. :p
     
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  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    20c! That's good. Better than I've ever found them for anything even near that in the British Sterling equivalent. Either you are a good shopper or I'm doing something very wrong. :p

    Here's what they look like:

    [​IMG]

    They are good for fitting in jeans pockets too, so they are good for walking and reading on mile-long hikes - as I like to do. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
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  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Damn, you have some big pockets. Haha. I can barely fit my phone in mine.
     
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  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Haha, I like the deep pockets. :p Allows me to have my keys and phone in one pocket and a small notebook and pen in the other. Counts as self-defence too, both the keys and the pen can double up as a weapon if I'm ever involved in a hostage situation and have to fight my way out like Bruce Willis in Die Hard. :p
     
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  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If you can read while you hike, you're doing it wrong.

    That aside, they look very cool.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yeah, I know. But it's not like I regret it.

    I live in the country, and came of age just before the internet became the only thing kids do. That was a time when kids would climb trees to read and swap comics with friends, or walk and read Dahl, or Goosebumps, or Sweet Valley High if you where a girl because talking to adults was pointless.

    I'm a product of those days, and I'm not going to change. :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You misunderstand. Here is a hiking trail near my native Boulder.
    [​IMG]
    One does not hike that with their nose in a book.
     
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  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I live in different woods.
     
  10. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the idea of these little black classics. It's a good, cheap way to sample some of the classics.

    I was carrying loads of these around when I first saw them in the bookshop intending to buy them but I talked myself out of it and only got four I think. This number may go up when I next visit a bookshop though...
     
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