One of my weaknesses is the music of John Foxx and Ultravox – I’ve loved their stuff for more years than I care to acknowledge and have shelves of their vinyl and CDs.

However, Foxx had an alternative career as a graphic designer, with book jackets being one of his talents, and I spotted a Twitter post the other day pointing out a Roger Zelazny sci-fi cover he’d done from the 1970s. It’s striking and unusual and a first edition so most likely hard to get hold of at a reasonable price:


And indeed, when I looked online copies with jackets were not cheap… However, I’ve been circling round the idea of reading more sci-fi again, and I felt rather strongly I would like a copy of this. And then I noticed that a seller I would normally avoid was offering a copy…

This seller is one of those who sell books described as very good which are usually falling to bits – I’m sure many of you have come across them. However, they were offering a copy of this book *very* cheaply and it was described as “ex-library”. That decided me on taking a risk, because more often than not, an ex-library book will have the jacket on, stuck to the book but still present. It was worth £2.81 of anyone’s money to find out – and I was right, because that’s my book above!!

It has its jacket – a little old and fragile, but there, nevertheless – and also an intriguing interior:

doors inside

It seems this book belonged to a naval library, so it must have been sent out on ships over the years – what a history it must have!

Anyway, I’m happy with my bargain book with its cover, and must remind myself in future that if I want the jacket of an old book, ex-library is a good option as long as you don’t mind it being attached!! 🙂