Recently, I've really gotten into owning books released by the Everyman's Library. For example, I came across a copy of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose about a month ago, and even though I have the paperback that is available (with a remainder mark, signaling my cheapness) I bought the new version without pause. It was one of the red versions, with the author image on the cover, and so now when I look at it, I have a very bookish, and bearded Eco staring out at me with thick, goggle like glasses. Yet I love it.
There is a second design for the Everyman Library books, and that is a clean, white faced, red lettered version, such as is the copy of the Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, which I am currently reading. (And which, I must say, is so utterly fucking cool--how can such a cool book have avoided my notice for so long? Seriously, if you've never read it, you want it. Now.) I'm not quite sure what the difference of the two covers signals, but there's a UK and American version thing going on, so perhaps it is simply that. Or perhaps there are no images of Bulgakov around that suggest a happy, or serious author image that can be put on the front--in fact, maybe I will just believe it is the second, because I like the idea of a whole generation of authors who produced excellent work being faceless, their images lost to time, to war, and there is nothing that technology can do to bring it back.
For the longest time, I've been hunting down the Everyman's editions in bookstores. It's like a quest--I have a few of them going. Some of the others include buying old, Generation One Transformers, and trying to find a decently priced hardcover copy of Fritz Leiber's The Black Gondolier. But now I'm starting to think that it's just stupid and I ought to buy them off the website, one at a time, once every month, until I have them all. That way I could read one a month, and not buy another until I had finished the first.
That sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to blackmail myself. Of course.