I'm about to make an admission that will, at the very least, raise eyebrows in the book blogging community and quite possibly worse... I don't care for hardbacks (they take up to much space and are to heavy to cart around) and I don't like having duplicate copies of books... I know there are so many lovely copies of favourite books out there that sometimes it's hard to resist having a second or third copy but it always feels wrong to me. This is also partly a space based issue but it goes deeper than that - the books that I might get extra copies of have been without exception second hand gems and tempting as they are it feels selfish to deprive somebody else of the opportunity of discovering whichever brilliant book it might be.
However as with any hard and fast rule there are naturally exceptions and I made one for this Penguin copy of 'Devil's Cub'. I have a reasonably large collection of Virago books and a small but growing collection of old Penguins. With the Virago's there's a genuine effort to only buy titles I think I'll read but with the Penguins I'll get anything that sounds amusing without worrying to much if I'll ever get round to it, of the few duplicate titles I do have most are Penguin and Virago titles. There is something so pleasing to look at about the plain old penguin covers, but I think what I appreciate even more is how compact they are - they exactly express everything I love about paperbacks.
My father is fond of observing that there's nothing as permanent as temporary; this paperback is testament to that, these are basic books, flimsy even, but this copy of 'Devil's Cub' was printed in 1954 is still in pretty good nick, certainly still readable, the 2 shillings it cost when it was published relates to a value of £2.32 today against the retail price index or £5.91 measured against average earnings - it cost me £2 (I find that interesting). Curiously I saw a picture of this very book somewhere about the internet a week or so ago and had intended to search amazon for a copy as it was my favourite Heyer title for a number of years. My old copy is falling apart and I fancied this for a replacement, so you can imagine how happy I was to find it in an odd little second hand bookshop (Christine's Book Cabin) which is basically a shack tucked into the side of a car park in Market Harborough.