Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Popular Penguins

I didn't think my trip to the Post Office to pay my $3.70 underpaid postage bill was going to be worth the petrol. I was wrong.

On walking out of the Post Shop I noticed a large stand of orange covered Penguin books with titles that I recognised (albeit mostly from movies). Pride & Prejudice, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Frankenstein etc. Then I noticed my favourite. The thinner of the bunch, Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote was pushed to the back of the stand. No matter the length of the book, they were all $9.95.
Not wanting to look like an idiot and go back to the Post Shop counter, I thought maybe I'll just head to the newsagent and stick with getting a magazine. But there was nothing there I liked. I've read everything I wanted this month minus Madison and I just couldn't bring myself to buy it with that cover (the photo of Sienna Miller is the least inviting photo I've seen on a magazine ever).
So I moved onto the gift store. What do you know, they had the same stand. But no Breakfast at Tiffany's. Wait - there is a Mary Ryan's just a few shops up. I've got $10 in my wallet and could do with something light to read at lunch. It must have been my day, I picked up the last copy they had. And I only spent $2 more than I would have on the magazine. And I didn't look like a weirdo going back to the Post Shop counter for a second time.

Who would have thought that this was the premise for Popular Penguins -
The Idea
He just wanted a decent book to read . . .

Not too much to ask, was it? It was in 1935 when Allen Lane stood on a British railway platform looking for something good to read on his journey. His choice was limited to popular magazines and poor quality paperbacks. Lane's disappointment and subsequent anger at the range of books available led him to found a company – and change the world.

'We believed in the existence of a vast reading public for intelligent books at a low price, and staked everything on it.'

Sir Allen Lane, 1902–1970, founder of Penguin Books
Reading habits have changed since 1935, but Penguin still believes in publishing the best books for everyone to enjoy, and that quality books published passionately and responsibly make the world a better place.

At such a small price, I'm planning on buying at least 2 new titles a month. And at $9.95 it's cheaper than the movies and much more educational. Plus I think a nice little stack of orange books could look great on my buffett.....


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