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Book collector

Gregory Ball - Book collectorEvery term at school from the age of twelve we received a catalogue from a company that selected books for our age-group. Our English teacher talked about the books available during the lesson and let us choose which we wanted to buy. I started buying books every time the list came out, and I have never stopped since.

As a schoolboy, it had to be paperbacks, and at that time (mid-sixties), by far the biggest paperback publisher was Penguin. Penguin published the Shakespeare editions we used in the class, the novels we read for our pleasure, the classic works we struggled through, the Pelican non-fiction books we used in our studies, the cookery books we needed when we became students, the poetry books that would focus our minds on language and the sublime, and books on just about everything else of interest. Penguin was part of our lives, and in my case became something I could never let go of: I became a Penguin collector.
Penguin books have almost always been notable for their design, and initially that meant innovative typography.

Penguins are only part of my book story, however. Art books, travel books, how-to books and books that are simply beautiful. But they are no longer just books, they are a library.

Some years ago I was honoured by inclusion in the series entitled 'The Library of.' (De bibliotheek van.) which at that time appeared on the back page of the literary supplement of De Standaard newspaper. It concentrated on my Penguin collecting. It goes without saying that I am a member of the Penguin Collectors Society!