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Game, Sets and Match

20 Nov

In a week or two I will be moving house and this has led to the ordering and  packing up of my many books, which is strange due to my penchant for appreciating the quirky and often fascinating juxtaposition of books when randomly placed, like the Bible tightly packed next to Christopher Hitchens or Alice in Wonderland next to de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater.

BaumdlessImagination

I have been busy putting my series of books together to be boxed up and it made me think about the times when I used to travel to Nottingham once a fortnight to collect all 21 Famous Five books.  Even years ago I was paranoid that the publishers would change the covers so they wouldn’t look as sexy on my shelves.

JordanEtAl

It all started with Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time Series which was actually a bit of a blessing, the black covers look a lot better than the less than impressive (to my eye, at least) illustrations of character set pieces.  Since then I have always strived to collect the full series in the same cover.

ChandlerGreats

It isn’t so urgent these days, admittedly but I do still binge buy a series of books if I like them, back in the day Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series and most recently A Dance to the Music of Time.  There is a thrill from completing a set, or just adding to it, like the Penguin Great Ideas series, where I know I will be in for a treat with each book gained and idea explored.

DarkTimes

Who couldn’t resist hunting down these copies of the Dark Tower series.  This is one set I needed to have complete, it contains 4250 pages and is well worth a read and probably a review at some point as well, note to self.

ClarkeyCat

I had a traumatic experience once whilst reading 2010: Odyssey Two, when about seventy pages in I found duplicate pages and not the ones I needed and craved, since then I have taken to flicking through the page numbers to make sure I never have to go through that harrowing feeling again.

For all that though, the trend is breaking with Zola as I am favouring picking up his Rougon-Macquart series of 20 books as and when I see them, it has now gotten to the point where I am debating picking up a different style of cover for each one, the results so far…

Gianfranco

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58 Comments

Posted by on 20/11/2016 in Book Memories, Lists/Ephemera

 

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58 responses to “Game, Sets and Match

  1. Jeff

    20/11/2016 at 16:19

    Different editions of the same book can be the bane of a course. The page referencing, of course, is different, causing much to-ing and fro-ing as those with the wrong edition find the next part under discussion!

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    • Ste J

      20/11/2016 at 16:30

      That is a good point, if I can find alternate versions (assuming nothing else in the bookshop catches my eye) then I will probably start taking an interest in the different translations and so on. If I was doing a course with book, I try and learn the book as much as possible but that is mainly because I am too cheap to fork out for the expensive editions they always expect of us.

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      • Jeff

        20/11/2016 at 16:32

        Philopsophy titles published by the Cambridge University Press have the advantage of being in larger print. This is good for anyone straining at screens all day or getting on in their years (or both).

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        • Ste J

          20/11/2016 at 16:40

          Which is also an encouragement to avoid investing in an e-reader as well.

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          • Jeff

            20/11/2016 at 16:45

            They do have zoom levels. A bit tricky when discussing a page number. I suppose you have to ask ‘how does the first sentence start?’ and then use search. But what if it’s a different translation? And how would you reference a page number in your essay?

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            • Ste J

              20/11/2016 at 16:56

              Good point, I would throw myself at the mercy of the second hand bookshops and get an ‘official’ copy, which should be my first port of call I suppose at any rate.

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              • Jeff

                20/11/2016 at 17:06

                I like the idea of an ‘official’ copy. There is something concrete about a book that’s published the conventional way. It occurred to me this morning that instead of writing several books to bait academic plagiarists, I could have published free copies of already free classics, only littered with deliberate errors. Sit back for a few years and then … voila! Or am I bluffing because I’ve already done this? Mwah-ha-ha!
                Oh for the dangers of ‘free’ books!

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                • Ste J

                  20/11/2016 at 17:26

                  Devious as ever sir, I trust were this to happen you would keep me informed of the results? Free books should be a good thing but it makes me feel uneasy, for a great read I feel I owe somebody, somewhere, something.

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                  • Jeff

                    20/11/2016 at 17:35

                    Indeed I would, should I have. You are wise to pay something. Makes moving house a bit tougher though, eh? Are you going to have a reading room with an armchair, open fire, and a malt cabinet?

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                    • Ste J

                      20/11/2016 at 18:01

                      It’s a modern place so no open fire but at least it is central heated. I have so many books to move it is almost farcical but as y current job is lugging boxes around I will at least be used to it. The malt cabinet and a bit of M.R. James will lift the spirits though.

                      Liked by 1 person

                       
  2. renxkyoko

    20/11/2016 at 16:28

    I have the Dark Tower series by Stephen KIng.

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    • Ste J

      20/11/2016 at 16:38

      What was your favourite book? I would have to say The Waste Lands followed by The Gunslinger.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • renxkyoko

        20/11/2016 at 16:54

        I loved all, Ste J.

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        • Ste J

          20/11/2016 at 16:58

          Fair enough, I will get to a review one of these days and you can shout at me for being picky about some of the books hehe.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • renxkyoko

            20/11/2016 at 17:13

            Re Harry Potter books….. I loved all but one … The Order of the Phoenix, and not because it was bad, I just couldn’t stand to read on that frog – looking professor ( yikes, I can’t remember the name ) and the way she has tortured HP.

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            • Ste J

              20/11/2016 at 17:29

              TOotP was the low point, I felt the magic had been lost after that one. It lacked the atmosphere of the first four, I preferred the clues in the text element of the earlier books.

              Liked by 1 person

               
              • renxkyoko

                20/11/2016 at 18:02

                Oh, you too ? I managed to read each book 2 or 3 x , looking for clues, ha ha ha. ( Except Order …. there are no clues there, anyways )

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                • Ste J

                  20/11/2016 at 18:06

                  I was pleasantly surprised at the end of book one when it was revealed that I hadn’t been paying attention to the text, it is nice to be kept on one’s toes, Phoenix dispensed with that, it would perhaps have made more sense to do in the penultimate book.

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  3. Liz

    20/11/2016 at 16:36

    This is so fascinating and I can really relate. On a slightly similar note, I have a posh (red and gold) set of Austen’s complete works which look nice from their spines, but the paper and printing inside is awful and so I will never read them. Your post has spurred me on to follow through with something I have mused about for ages – ie giving my current set to charity and replacing it with something that looks just as nice but can also actually be read.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Ste J

      20/11/2016 at 16:47

      Barnes and Noble do hardback classics with fancy covers that are really cheap, it is a shame we don’t have an equivalent over here. It is a shame that your Austen’s don’t live up to expectation on the reading side. It didn’t take much Persuasion(!) for you to part with them! There will be many beautiful sets around and I am sure you will find something at a good price and then you can enjoy them both inside and out.

      Liked by 2 people

       
      • Liz

        20/11/2016 at 20:36

        Lol. I hope my Prejudice against my current set does not get in the way of future enjoyment of these novels. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • Ste J

          21/11/2016 at 19:26

          Emma sure it won’t!

          Liked by 2 people

           
          • Liz

            21/11/2016 at 21:39

            Groan!! I’m off for a lie down in a dark room…. 🙂

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  4. Alastair Savage

    20/11/2016 at 17:15

    With some ebooks they don’t even bother to include the cover, which enrages me! It drives me mad when I open a new book and it takes me straight to the contents or some other random early page. Grrr….

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    • Ste J

      20/11/2016 at 17:32

      A cove, like the blank pages at the beginning and end are all part of the reading experience. The ebook people should be made aware of this!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Jill Weatherholt

    20/11/2016 at 20:51

    This is quite a collection, Ste J. It looks like you’ll need a moving truck just for your books. Good luck with the move!

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    • Ste J

      21/11/2016 at 19:25

      Yes moving is problematic when laden with books, I am thinking of going on a review binge as I planned to review some before giving them away, so this will be the time for doing that. I’m not sure there are enough boxes in the world though…

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. shadowoperator

    21/11/2016 at 02:09

    Happy housewarming! Imagine me bringing you a virtual bumper of some fine vintage or other to christen your newel-post (assuming that you have one). I can imagine that you will unearth books you have had buried for a long time, and be unable to decide at first which to read (or re-read) next. Such pleasant pain (to use an oxymoron). Have a good time!

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    • Ste J

      21/11/2016 at 19:37

      I have tried to make a list a while back but I doubt I will get to more than one before Christmas now, sadly. I will hopefully be able to go on a review binge before giving a few books away so at least some good will come from all the stress. A fine vintage, eh! I would settle for a bottle of water after all these boxes get shifted. I do have a newel post, stairs will be a welcome surprise again.

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  7. Lyn

    21/11/2016 at 02:57

    Aaaah, The Famous Five ❤ One of the latest editions of the paperback version have the original illustrations in them. Have you read the Trouble Twisters series by Garth Nix?

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    • Ste J

      21/11/2016 at 19:31

      I shall keep an eye out for them, not to buy but just to get a feel for the original illustrations which are always fascinating. I haven’t read anything else of Nix’s, I am still a bit light on children’s books but have found some pretty interesting books to read in the meantime.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  8. Lyn

    21/11/2016 at 03:01

    P/S as someone who has moved at least ten times, one tip I’d give every mover is to make up your bed before you do anything. That way, you can work as long as you like and then crash on your bed 😀

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    • Ste J

      21/11/2016 at 19:29

      Good tactic, if all else fails mattress on the floor, surrounded by books could romanticise the whole moving experience.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Lyn

        22/11/2016 at 10:19

        LOL done that before too 🙂

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  9. Al

    21/11/2016 at 10:10

    I remember being given the first two books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I couldn’t find the third one in the same cover. I ended up buying the tome so that it wouldn’t spoil my shelf. I have read the majority of the Star Wars books that are set 20 years after the events of the original 1977 film. Buying them as they came up for sale, meant that they were all the same covers before they changed publisher and before they became “Star Wars Legends” and they look neat on the shelf.

    It is awful when you see one that is ½mm taller than the ones around.

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    • Ste J

      21/11/2016 at 19:47

      I found the one volume was a pound cheaper than getting them separately. I hated the latter Discworld covers as well, the earlier ones felt so much more fun. That 1/2 mm is annoying, especially as I like my books to be flat that have to lay on top as there is never enough room for the collection!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  10. Andrea Stephenson

    21/11/2016 at 20:43

    It’s good to know that books can enhance your décor as well as your mind 🙂

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    • Ste J

      24/11/2016 at 16:25

      Even non book readers automatically gravitate towards book cases, they are easier to dust than ornaments as well which is always handy.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  11. clarepooley33

    21/11/2016 at 21:40

    I hope you have more shelf space in your new home. Good luck with the move – I find them so exhausting! When my husband and I got married we found that we had bought the same books over the years and now had two copies. I had great difficulty parting with my copies which often had very attractive covers and all those memories attached to them. If I had had my way we would have kept all our books but R is a person who likes to get rid of extraneous stuff regularly and I felt compelled to do my bit.

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    • Ste J

      24/11/2016 at 16:23

      It is tough to get rid of books, especially those with lots of memories attached. I think I will need a few more bookcases but at least there is plenty of room in the new place to dot them about.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. Liz Dexter

    22/11/2016 at 10:20

    Good luck for the move! I’m not hugely fussy about sets, which is useful, as, for example, I have Winifred Holtby in Virago, Perseophone, Modern Virago and a random one. And when I collected my Iris Murdoch paperbacks, I got what was available from the 90s onwards, so have a mixture of orange and white spines (of course, now I want the Vintage re-issues as they have interesting introductions, but that seems Too Much, as I’m also collecting the first edition hardbacks!).

    When we moved here, or rather moved the bulk of my books here, as some came initially from storage, I managed to arrange to get them on the shelves first, because “the shelves plus the boxes of books take up a lot of room, so I might as well put the books ON the shelves”. Win!

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    • Ste J

      24/11/2016 at 16:29

      I will be following your idea, Most of what I will take will be books anyway so they will always be the first things to be sorted and the bed I suppose will get a cursory making and such.

      Sets aren’t really an obsession for me these days either but every so often something comes along and I have to own it all at once and if that means eating less for a bit then I would rather nourish the mind than the body. I can always catch up with the body after all.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  13. Sheila

    23/11/2016 at 15:08

    I never did make it through The Dark Tower series. I started reading it when the first one came out, then it seemed like forever between the time one was done and the publication of the next one. Thank you for the reminder – maybe I’ll go back to it now that they’re all out there. I do love the look of them there all together like that. Good luck moving all those books!

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    • Ste J

      24/11/2016 at 16:21

      Yes I did hear there was a long gap and he got run over after book four and left it for a while before finishing it. There is another book as well which he wrote to link books for and five together more cohesively. It is a lot more fun to fly through a series when its complete. The amount of filled boxes piled up already is getting beyond ridiculous!

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  14. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    26/11/2016 at 14:53

    Books…seems the more I donate, the more I have. I’ve even turned my dining room china cabinet into a bookcase. lol. Hope you’re enjoying the new home, my friend.

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    • Ste J

      12/12/2016 at 15:00

      Everything becomes a book case after a while hehe. It is amazing how they multiply or how much we pretend we aren’t buying loads. I am getting used to my surroundings now with a couple of parks, a tram that goes right past my new workplace and is less than ten minutes from the local bookshop.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  15. LuAnn

    27/11/2016 at 19:52

    It must take you forever to pack up books and place them back on shelves when you move. It must be similar to looking through old family photos for you. 🙂

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    • Ste J

      12/12/2016 at 14:51

      Haha, it was! After a while it was just pick and place though as I was spending an inordinate amount of time flicking through old friends. Most are safely resting on shelves again now.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  16. anna amundsen

    28/11/2016 at 13:55

    I love sets, although it can be pretty tricky to get all the books if they’re out of print and all over the Planet. Your Baum is very beautiful!
    The prettiest set on my shelf is Trollope’s Barsetshire series – Penguin English Library. Lovely!

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    • Ste J

      12/12/2016 at 15:02

      Strangely enough I found the Baum set in The Works which is a discount bookstore which has been going downhill for years so it was a surprise. I won’t lie, I did salivate a little over your mention of the Barsetshire series haha.

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  17. Resa

    01/12/2016 at 02:58

    I hope you are moving to a neat place with room for all your books.
    I understand about collections. In terms of books, I have very few. I like collecting poetry books.

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    • Ste J

      12/12/2016 at 15:06

      I think I may need to downsize a tad but it is lovely to be surrounded by so much beautiful literature. There is loads of room here as well and I noted the other day some of the graf I sent you a while back has been painted over with a new design so I need to photo that for you and send you all the stuff I have stored in my laptop to you as well, so much for you!

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  18. Purpleanais

    02/12/2016 at 21:48

    Oh, the problems of a bookworm! Lol
    Totally identify with this though, but you do realise people who are casual about books would call us CRAZY! Haha

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    • Ste J

      12/12/2016 at 14:53

      People just don’t know the struggle, that fear of a publisher changing the covers one day and a set looking weird. I think we are the normal ones.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  19. Jessica

    05/12/2016 at 21:42

    I’ve always wanted to read the Zola series! I think it would get on my nerves if my (hypothetical) collection didn’t have matching covers, but then again, I have a whole bunch of books that don’t match.

    Good luck with your move! Hope it goes smoothly.

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    • Ste J

      12/12/2016 at 14:58

      Hving them not matching means less stress which is good and I quite like the idea of doing it just this once. With 20 books to collect, getting all the same would be tricky and costly.

      The move went smoothly thanks and it feels good to have it out of the way.

      Like

       

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