Recently, I decided to start shining the spotlight on some of the people, places and things from the bookish world that I love. Today, it’s the turn of a specific edition that is one of my favourites to collect: Penguin English Library.
There are several reasons why I love these particular editions so much, and first and foremost is simply how gorgeous they are. Designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, the covers (and spines, which line up together beautifully) are an easy way to add a hit of colour to your bookshelves.
The second reason I like them so much is that the selection on offer is pretty much a curated list of the most highly regarded classics of all time, with the series featuring ‘100 of the best novels in the English language’. Whilst personal taste is of course always a factor, and you’re unlikely to enjoy all 100 books, it does mean you can rest assured you’re getting a quality and influential story with each title you reach for. There’s also a good mix of both iconic titles that everyone has heard of and some lesser-known gems, so it’s worth browsing their catalogue to see what you can dig out.
The final reason I enjoy collecting them is how affordable they are. They differ in price slightly depending on length, but all retail for several pounds less than most equivalent editions and typical paperbacks, with most selling for just £5.99 – and who doesn’t love a bargain; especially such a beautiful one?
I hope to continue to add to my collection of Penguin English Library books gradually, but for those interested, here’s a list of the 14 titles I own so far:
- The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
- A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
- The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
- Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Adventure of the Six Napoleons and Other Cases by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Treasure Island & The Ebb-Tide by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells