It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an Oelschlaeger [1. Yes, this is my maiden name. Yes, it’s German. Yes, it was hard to learn to spell. Yes, I see an explicating follow-up post in my future…] woman [2. Specifically my mother and sister: fellow incurable bibliophiles. I can’t vouch for their possible affliction with re-reading syndrome, but they are as loathe as I to voluntarily surrender any book.] in possession of a good library must be in want of a few backup copies.
I’m a re-reader. Sue me. The only thing better than reading a good book the first time is reading it the third time. And the eighth time.
My husband can’t understand how I can read and re-read the same books over and over. Yes, I know how it ends. Yes, I’ve seen the movie. No, I will not put the book down.
Am I the only one who does this? Or, like my husband, do you belong to the “read-toss-repeat” school of literacy? I have no pretensions of superiority over people in the latter group, but in the interest of promoting understanding and tolerance between bibliophiles, allow me an example to illuminate my mindset more thoroughly.
Would you rather: a) have lunch with a total stranger in hopes he or she might become a new friend, or b) sit down for a good two-hour gabfest with a dear old friend who knew you back when you were skinny and stupid and 100% positive that if Joey McIntyre[3. Oh, the shame of it. But it was true back in the day. Please don’t stop loving me because of a little thing like this.] ever met you, he’d fall madly in love with you?
I find that a very lopsided debate.
As a result, I have the perennial problem of reading my favorite books until they literally fall apart at the seams. For example, at my current rate of consumption, by the age of eighty, I will have retired eight copies of Gone with the Wind.
Anyway, loyalty to my favorite classics makes me very anxious to find hardback copies that will hold up to repeated use and abuse. And through a fortunate series of events, I was able to make a much-anticipated pilgrimage to the opening of our first Anthropologie Friday before last.[Before coming to the point, I must say I can now understand see the Anthro attraction. That said, I was slightly disappointed in the lack of furniture and most housewares. But for the awe-inspiring hardware, dishes and a few other finds, the inventory was decidedly apparel-centered. Not that I didn’t see clothes I would’ve happily adopted, but fashion’s not exactly my forte. More’s the pity for all of humanity.]
One of my favorite finds, however, was Anthropologie’s collection of Penguin Classic hardback books.
The cloth covers are lusciously beautiful.
Complete with an attached bookmark.
They have some of my favorites.
It was all I could do not to buy one. Or five.
Twenty dollars is a little rich for a single volume — but I was sorely tempted. Luckily, these editions are also available on Amazon.com at a suitably discounted price.
Am I too old to make out a list for Santa Claus?