Anthony Trollope has popped up on my reading radar so many times recently that I’m beginning to think that someone, somewhere is trying to tell me something! He’s an author I’ve intended to read for years but have never got round to for some reason – I’ve had these two on my shelves for decades for example, but never got past the first few pages:

peng troll

Mulling things over recently, and digging out the books in question, I realised that it was possibly the physical books that were the problem; they’re inexpensive Penguin Popular Classics from ages ago, with small type, and tightly bound so they’re actually hard to hold and read. So I decided perhaps a different edition might be the solution, and after putting off the amassing of more books for ages, I finally settled on this at the charity shop recently:


It’s a nice-looking Oxford Classics that flops open nicely in a way that’s easier to manage so I figured this would help me get started on the Barchester books. I’ve also picked up a couple of non-Barchester titles over the past months in the form of these two:

live forgive

They sound wonderfully appealing, though they *are* chunksters so I’ll have to pick a good time to start them. But again, they’re physically manageable volumes so I guess they’ll be ok.

Things got complicated in the Samaritans Book Cave yesterday, however – I stumbled across these lovelies with the most wonderful retro covers from the 1960s and couldn’t resist, even though they’re later in the Barchester sequence:


Aren’t those covers just wonderful! Obviously Pan were trying to push classics as bestsellers with cover art that was very much in line with the Victoria Holt and Jean Plaidy titles my mum was reading at the time.

Then in the Oxfam I came across this nice Everyman edition of Barchester Towers:


The cover art is of the same vintage as the Pans, so the Penguins are off to be donated and I’m ready to get going on Trollope when time permits!

As for the collecting urge… It’s those Pan Bestsellers of Literature! You see, I was gifted another one recently, in the form of a pristine copy of Pride and Prejudice that turned up at a family member’s house after a clearout – and here it is:

P & P

I am fighting the temptation very hard, but it’s difficult not to dash off and try to find as many of these as I can – wouldn’t a shelf-full look great?ย  *I will not buy any more books* (not much, I wont!)