24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 – Thanksgiving, Task 1:
Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book – post a picture of it. (This can be a library book.)
Although being in temporary lockdown for the second time this year doesn’t exactly prove conducive to my reading (nor did most of this year’s events as a whole), that of course doesn’t stop me in the least from acquiring more books. Here’s the first half of the latest batch (with more on the way and bound to arrive next week, or later this week if I’m lucky):
While most of this latest bunch’s entries are either in furtherance of this year’s holiday reading (December can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned), or my growing BLCC collection, or my travels with Patrick Leigh Fermor, the clear stand-out item is the new special edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with all 19 significant letters included in the book lovingly reproduced as calligraphic inserts: each with a distinct handwriting, all of them folded “period style” (allowing for a blank page to provide space for the address, without needing an envelope, and yet actually requiring the letter to be “opened” to access its contents), the letters delivered by mail duly stamped accordingly, and all of the letters with a million lovingly-added details that show that the artist creating them is intimately familiar with the novel and each letter’s position in it: Jane’s second letter to Lizzy during Lizzy’s travels in Derbyshire (concerning Lydia’s elopement) addressed so hastily and in such bad handwriting that it is easy to see how it could initially go astray; Lydia’s note to Harriet Forster scrawled on the flip side of the Regency version of a fashion leaflet … etc. (Also, I’d always been wondering how many pages Darcy’s monster epistle to Lizzy after her rejection of his first proposal would have covered: now I know — it’s almost 11 pages long.) The book business may be under pressure, but as long as gorgeous editions such as these can still be produced — and with so much loving care — all is not lost just yet.