Friday, February 08, 2008

Why show-offs prefer hardbacks

Allow me to introduce Doomed Second-Hand Bookshop Purchase No 371, a complete paperback set of the old and now very unfashionable translation of In Search of Lost Time (£10):

What's heartening for me is that its previous owner ("Sarah Thesiger, 1970", according to the inside cover of Swann's Way I) was a spine-breaker, so that to glance along the set is to follow an enthusiasm through its gradual decline, with surrender coming somewhere towards the end of Vol II of The Captive. The careful paperback-owning pseud is advised either never to break the spine of a book, or to buy second-hand examples more thoroughly broken than this.

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