Farewell Penguins- Part II

coffee-shop-penguinI talked about the decision making regarding giving up my extensive Penguin collection yesterday. I feel sad about that but today I am thinking about the happiness this collection has given me.

Penguin books are disappearing as the baby boomers of the world also disappear. I think a few young people appreciate the books but they have been the domain of the older generations. The books in my collection dated from 1935 to 1970. The world is a different place these days.

In collecting the Penguins I have experienced two overseas trips to the UK that were both great fun. We talked to booksellers, found rarer books, saw parts of the world not seen before. The first trip would not have happened if I wasn’t collecting these books.

While travelling on the first trip I also saw how many book readers and collectors started blogging. I started getting into that more so when I returned home. I have had the best experiences blogging. I have made bookish friends in Australia as well as in England. I have met and stayed in touch with three people in the UK,  one of which has a blogs, one that is also a Penguin collector. One person from the UK has visited me in Tasmania and is coming back again in March.

I am a member of the Penguin Collector’s society and their publications have been excellent. I will continue to support them.

I am on a first name basis with all the book store owners in Hobart because of the time I have spent in their store looking for Penguins. I have enjoyed their enthusiasm.  The Penguin network goes through out the world.

I found a first printed Penguin in South America. A No 1 book, 1937,  written in Spanish. That was exciting. I have a French Penguin from that country.  I am always happy when I see that little bird on the bottom of a spine with a number next to it.

I have conducted four presentations through schools for seniors in Tasmania about the history of the Penguin publications. As I shared the various Penguin series with these people, I saw what a  great deal of pleasure handling the books and retelling their memories of Penguins in their life when they were growing up gave them.

I will continue to keep Penguins out of landfill but they won’t live at my house. They will all be gone one day, as nothing is permanent but the attachment will not lie with me anymore.

I will enjoy the Penguin series of poetry, classics, handbooks and Kings that I will retain for now.  One day they too will find new homes.

I look forward to chatting to others about the books that aren’t Penguins and that don’t live in boxes in closets and under the bed any longer.

5 thoughts on “Farewell Penguins- Part II

  1. Wonderful to hear how much these books have added to your life. Books really open up new horizons. Great to hear that they not only are enjoyed in solitude at home, but have given you new friends and new perspectives of life. The Penguin ‘society’ sounds really great. What will you do with your books? Sell them? Store them. Keep them but not buy any more?


  2. wise and considered judgments, all in all… as the world changes, so do we and it is the better part of wisdom to recognize that… maybe change is like a wave sweeping under one and carrying the dross away, farther up the beach of life (boy do i get carried away sometimes…)


  3. I think you are right about the attachment to Penguins being mostly a generational thing. As a young reader without much money and so restricted to buying books in Op Shops, I would scan the shelves for the distinctive orange spines and know that it didn’t matter what the book was, it would be good reading. I still have those old Penguins, and feel grateful to their original owners for passing them on to the impecunious!


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