Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Give me more pengiuns

I just love Penguin. The covers are worth every peso. I think I've been buying Penguins ever since I learned to read. However, it can get really painful to see Penguin newer editions with even more stylized covers. I've gotten quite attached to my old, smelly, orange-spined Penguins that I can't bear the thought of buying these new ones.

Lately, I've been partial to the Penguin Special Editions -- those beautifully designed books with French flaps and deckle edges. I'll keep on collecting those for my "Year of the Classics" in 2010. It's about time I conquer my fear of Hardy and Austen.

Just look at the beautiful covers of the Penguin editions above. They're designed by renowned fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo. How can I not buy these? They'd make beautiful additions to one's shelves.

I do have a question to you, dear reader. Penguin is known to have exhaustive introductions to the classic texts. Do you even bother to read them at all? Or do you immediately read the novel itself?


Charlie said...

There's no way I read the intro first because the gasbags who write them often throw spoilers around with abandon—they assume the reader has already read the book. I don't want a detailed analysis before I read a book—I want to read it, form my own thoughts and opinions, and then maybe scan the intro.

BTW, Penguin isn't the only one who does it: so does Modern Library.

Ceri said...

I love these new covers. I really do. As much as I love my old Penguin covers, I do love these ones.

But I agree with Charlie - I avoid introductions like the plague now because of the spoilers all over the place.

mel u said...

I also either read the introduction not at all or when I am done-with the exception of works I may be rereading

Anonymous said...

Mostly I will read the intro after reading the book. Here in Australia Penguin has started bringing out books with the original orange covers, I love them. My first penguins were often bought second hand so they had the earlier simple covers. The other plus with the orange penguins is the price, they are selling for less then $10 aussie dollars, most paperbacks are more than double that.

Peter said...

@Charlie: I noticed that you have lots of Modern Library books on your shelves. Somehow, I didn't take to their copper-colored spines.

@Ceri: Sometimes, it's best to treat introductions as an afterword. You read them after going through the novel.

@Mel: I know that you have a lot of Penguins since you're an avid reader of the classics!

@Book pusher: I can't wait to see those reissued books!

Anonymous said...

I usually read the intro if I think the book is going to be challengin. Otherwise I read it after. Love these covers!

Peter said...

Hello, Stacy! I actually bought those books because of their covers!

Something's Dishy said...

I love vintage Penguins with their orange spines for fiction and green ones for crime. They are lovely.
No, I never read the prologues or introductions first. You never know if there'll be spoilers.

Peter said...

Hello, Something's Dishy! I seldom see those green ones here in Manila. They're indeed wonderful to have in our shelves, yes?

Thomas said...

I recently pondered this same question on my blog. After reading the responses I have determined that if the intro isn't written by the author, then I will read it after I finish the book, if at all.

Although I will say for older fiction it is sometimes good to at least scan it ahead of time as they sometimes explain context that is helpful in understanding the book.