My First Penguin Book


I like the look and feel of books.

Buying from the Penguin imprint was a step in the dark. At the time – the 1960’s – its covers were in tune with English middle class sensibilities; stuffy product, uninspiring presentation. The covers (symbolic and a product of a then fad for pop-art) were primitive in the extreme. I bought despite them rather than because of them. When I bought my first one I had to convince myself it was actually worth buying. My earliest acquisition was probably John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids. I say probably because although I catalogue details of paperbacks, I can only guess the year of actual purchase. I currently have 246 Penguin books with a further 40 or so of associated imprints (Peregrine, Pelican, Puffin, Peacock).

I’ve a little under 2,000 books and a breakdown of the main imprints by book count looks like:

Imprint books
Ace (remember the famous Ace double?) 66
Arrow 49
Ballantine (Adult Fantasy) 34
Bantam 26
Corgi 89
Coronet 27
DAW 21
Five Star (found in FW Woolworths) 13
Fontana 22
Grafton 25
Granada 27
Mayflower (inc Michael Moorcock) 63
New English Library 125
Orbit 89
Pan 80
Panther 121
Penguin (includes classics etc) 246
Quartet (always pricey) 27
Sphere 138
Star 16
Tandem 38
Unwin (includes Tolkien) 33

Total of table: 1,375.

I’ve more than enough physical books to last me a lifetime and a Kindle (which I rarely use). I know what I need to know, or failing that, I know where to look. Yet a well designed book can catch my eye.

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About Terence Park

Collections: vinyl records, comic books, paperbacks; I've plenty of them all. I also do spreadsheets.
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