Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Elusive Austen

I'm working on my book list, but the second book I chose for the year has 630 pages and is not the easiest read. So I find myself daydreaming about the book I will read next! I am eager to read Jane Austen again. However, and this is really sad, I do not own any of my own copies of her books. The reason is because I don't much care for paperbacks and have long since sold or donated my paperback copies of her books. I long for nice hardcover copies. I actually think this set would be the perfect set for me. I saw it in the Christmas issue of InStyle last year and it was love at first sight. It's pink! However, it's also $200. And the actual books, minus the dust jackets that are neither leather nor vellum but just "a special tear and water resistant paper," are only $40 on Amazon. So, that means the "special tear and water resistant paper" covers alone are $160! Yowsa! But they're gorgeous! And they're pink!!

This is the set minus the covers though. 

And that's just not going to look nice on anyone's shelf. Not in this century anyway. Yuck! I wish they would sell just the covers. I wouldn't mind paying $10 a piece for the covers, as silly as that is. At $40 for the books and $60 for the covers, I could get a whole set for $100. That seems more reasonable to me. It's still a bit much to charge more for the covers than the books, but I'd be willing to do it because these are so difficult to find with pretty covers. 

My dad is a big fan of Easton Press. The problem with Easton Press in the past was that they bound some of the books together. I have seen this a lot. Why would I want a big bulky book? I wouldn't. I want six volumes because she wrote six books. I have looked again today and discovered that Easton Press has now put out a very beautiful six volume set. But ugh, they do this to me every stinkin' time, they are red. I hate red. Except for at Christmas or if we're talking about wine, red is just not for me. It makes me want to say "shh!" or "calm down!" And anyway, six monthly installments of $69? Holy cow!

I did find a nice grey set from the 90s put out by the Folio Society (which is apparently a London based publisher) used on both Amazon and ebay. At $125, the price is still not quite right. Although it appears they are reissuing Austen's books now at just over $60 a piece! It really is a pretty set. I think grey makes more sense than pink too. And it's still really a beautiful color. 

What I don't want is a set that doesn't look like a set. That is just too busy on the shelf. Barnes and Noble had a great little bargain priced copy of each of her novels last fall for about $7 a piece, but in the end, I couldn't do it. When the dust jackets were removed, they were all different colors. It would be distracting on a bookshelf. And as nice as any one of the covers are in the new Penguin set, altogether, the grouping is busy and messy looking to me. 

It just seems strange to me that it is this hard to find a good set of books that are public domain. Can't anyone who wants to bind these up in pretty covers? I would myself if I knew anything about book binding. But since I don't, the search continues. 


Jennifer said...

Hope you are well! Happy New Year!

Abby said...

Hey Jennifer! I should've responded to this! I apologize! I was just surprised! It's so great to hear from you! I need to shoot you a proper message. But I wanted to say hey! Sorry it took me so long!

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