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 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.


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!

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!