Friday, September 23, 2005

I Buy More Jane Austen Books

Just because Jane Austen has not put out a new novel in almost 200 years, doesn't mean that I do not have to keep spending money on her work. I just got a Barnes & Noble gift card from my parents for my birthday -- Hallelujah! Hallelujah! -- and I immediately went to www.bn.com and purchased the Norton Critical Editions of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion (I already had the Norton of Emma). Now, I at last have a complete set of Jane Austen, by one publisher, in one format. The Norton Critical Editions are very good, as a rule, since they have some notations and often illuminating essay addendums.

I have actually worn out paperback copies of my Jane Austen books. Mansfield Park is on its last legs. It would not survive another read-through. Pride and Prejudice has already had one copy recycled, and copy the second isn't looking too healthy anymore. Emma (not the NCE one), Northanger Abbey, Persuasion -- all could use retirement. The only one I haven't worn out is Sense and Sensibility, but, as I've already posted, that's the one I re-read the least.

I have also worn out many L.M. Montgomery books and have had to replace them. I just love books to their death - taking them everywhere: eating while reading, reading in the bath, marking my place by leaving them open -- belly-side down, spine up. Do not ever lend me a book, if you expect to get it back pristine. Jason, on the other hand, treats books with reverence and respect (but, I suspect, far less actual love) and handles them with kid gloves. He doesn't let me touch his books. I cannot really blame him.

So, new Jane Austen books for me -- a happy birthday indeed.

5 comments:

CrazyJo said...

It's been a long time since I've picked up a Jane Austen book, I'm not sure why, since I've always enjoyed them.
I love LM Montgomery's books. I have so many favorites! The Blue Castle is one of the top faves, I've read it more times than I can count. What is your favorite of hers?

Justine said...

I love The Blue Castle too! It is probably my favorite "stand-alone" LMM, though my favorite series wavers between the Anne books and the Emily books. The Annes are so generally light and sweet and benevolent (excepting Rilla of Ingelside -- poor Walter!) and the Emilys so much darker, broodier, yet almost strangely more satisfying (at least as I get older) -- very different, but both excellent in their own ways. LMM is a master story-teller, and I think she really shines in her short stories too. My dear friend and kindred spirit, vermonster, just sent me a 1911 edition of LMM's The Story Girl, which I have never read. I am a little trepidant about picking it up, since it is such a treasure and you've read what I do to books, but I'll rally courage and borrow Jason's kid gloves.

No assignments for beleaguered, sleep-lacking mamas, but, when EBD starts a more forgiving sleep schedule, you must re-read some JA. Then, post here and argue with me (or converse with me) about her, and we'll have a good ol' time.

Peace to you!
Justine

CrazyJo said...

I love both the Anne & Emily books. I just re-read the Emily ones this year. They've been well-used and some have some tape repairs holding on covers! lol
The Story Girl is good, as is it's sequel, The Golden Road. It's been a while since I've read them, I'll have to see if I can get a hold of some copies. One of my other favorite stand alones is Jane of Lantern Hill.
I admire your bravery in having old books around with a youngster underfoot! I would be worried about them getting into little hands and being destroyed. That would be a sad day! I think I'll stick to my paperbacks! :)
I'll let you know as soon as I'm able to get to my JA.

vermonster said...

Thanks for the warning about loaning you books! I used to do that with my sister's books and learned very quickly not too if I wanted to continue reading her books!

Every time I read you posts, I find we are more and more alike. While I enjoy all LMM books, The Blue Castle is my favorite. I can identify with Valancy as she is a "older" leading character of LMM's novels.

I guess since I have all the LMM books, I need to complete my Jane Austen collection...I think I'll start with Mansfield Park.

vermonster said...

So....I've bought more books. You're a baaaaad influence, Justine! I picked up Mansfield Park today. Tonight, however, I'm going to curl up in bed and watch Pride and Prejudice (B&W)on Vermont Public Television. Fanny will need to wait for another day!