Hey everyone! My name is Alex and I’m new to book blogging! After discovering the ‘bookstagram’ community on Instagram last year, I became an active member, combining my loves of reading and photography. I have always wanted a blog and, with a little persuasion from a friend, I have finally taken the plunge!
Anyone who is part of Bookstagram will undoubtedly have seen the beautiful bookish collections that some readers possess. It’s pretty hard not to be envious. I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t even aware of most of the amazing collections available to us as readers before I joined! So there have definitely been many occasions over the last year where #bookstagrammademebuyit.
Therefore, for my first post (eek!), I thought I’d show you some of the collections I’ve started to accumulate. No regrets.
Word Cloud/Canterbury Classics
The first collection I started as a result of Instagram was the Word Cloud Classics series published by Canterbury Classics. Little Women was my very first, after responding to a call for buddy readers (which I’m delighted to say blossomed into a bookclub that continues to this day). These books are wonderfully tactile and the engraved quotes on the front covers make them very visually striking. Plus the colour palette is beautiful. Every time I get a new one of these, I am heart eyes all over it. I hope to own the majority, if not all, of them someday.
Mr Boddington Penguin Classics
Next up are the elusive ‘Mr Boddingtons’. Anyone attempting to collect these will understand my pain at not being able to find the other three in the set but also my joy at owning the ones I do! This collection started completely by accident. While sitting my final exams of my undergraduate degree, I decided to treat myself after a particularly difficult exam and stopped by the university bookshop on my way home. A Mr Boddington edition of Pride and Prejudice was sitting all alone on a shelf, and immediately caught my eye. I had never read Pride and Prejudice but had been wanting to for some time, so I decided to get the book since it was one of the prettiest copies I’d seen. Only later did I come to realise what a gem I’d discovered! Now, if only something similar could happen and I could walk into a bookshop to find Jane Eyre…
Confession time: I never intended to collect these books. I told myself that the Word Clouds were the classic editions I was collecting, and that was that. Then one day, the Scholastic book fair appeared in the school where I work. I was a goner. I just loved the minimalistic ink splat covers and I’m a sucker for rainbow spines. I bought The Jungle Book and Anne of Green Gables for a whole £2 each and from there, it spiralled. I managed to find loads of these editions going really cheap on Ebay and knew then that another collection had been born. I will say that I’ve managed to be good and, so far, I don’t have any duplicates between this set and the Word Cloud Classics. This will probably change as I’m the kind of person who needs to complete a collection but, for now at least, I don’t feel as guilty!
White’s Fine Editions
This is another collection I never intended to start. (Seriously, the bookstagram community are a bad influence!) I was looking for a pretty edition of Jane Eyre for my personal library since the only one I had was my tatty old copy from school. When I saw the White’s Fine edition, I knew it was the one. I fully intended to stop there. But then a lovely friend sent me a copy of Emma for my birthday (which is one of the rarer members of the collection) and I thought to myself, “well, I might as well get them all now!” I found the other two on Amazon UK and Amazon France, meaning I’m halfway to a complete collection!
My most recent acquisitions are these gorgeous yellowbacks published by WHSmith in association with Vintage. These have been released in celebration of the 225th anniversary of the yellowback, convenient pocket-sized books that were sold in train stations around the country so that travellers had access to quality reading material on their journeys. I love the titles that were chosen for this collection, as they do not duplicate the same ones that always seem to be featured in classic collections. They have delightfully retro covers and gorgeous black-stained pages (another thing I didn’t know existed before my Instagram conversion!) Thankfully, there are only the 7 titles in this collection and I was able to get them when they were on special offer, so I’m a happy little bunny with at least one collection complete. Who knows how long it will take me to finish the others?!
Well, there you have it. My very first blog post. I’d love to know your thoughts on how I did – did I ramble on too long? Are book collections something you’d be interested in seeing more of? (You know this isn’t all I have, right?) I’d love to chat books with you so feel free to get in touch here, or on Twitter, Goodreads or (my favourite!) Instagram. You can find me @ paperbackpiano on all platforms. Thanks so much for reading!