Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Managing the madness

I've had a bit more time to think about how to approach my challenge in the last couple of days. I said quite early on that I don't want to buy TOO many VMCs, for financial solvency reasons, but I have already bought a few - about half of the ones on the shelf above were bought in the last week, and some have been removed from my TBRBC (to-be-read-book-case). I'm hoping I'll be able to pick some up on Amazon (I found one on the for sale shelf in the library for 20p!) and in charity shops, but otherwise I'll stick to the library and borrowing them.

I was undecided as to whether I wanted to stick only to the green editions; I wonder how others feel about the new non-green editions. In some cases I really like them - I love the new editions of Daphne Du Maurier and Antonia White. But in other cases I remain unconvinced. I'm not going to be fussy; the only criteria is that I must read the book in a VMC edition, not a Penguin or otherwise...

I'm planning to proceed mainly in an author-orientated direction. This is going to enable me to blog most easily about the VMCs which I have already read, bringing titles together as I did for Antonia White. I shall be finishing off Elizabeth Taylor (just need her short stories), Daphne Du Maurier (ditto) and Muriel Spark, and Barbara Pym in the next few months in this way, and also writing about Rosamund Lehmann. I then intend to look at Nina Bawden, of whom I am a big fan.

I shall probably also do some thematic reading... Cassandra at the Wedding was read because I was at a wedding, and I've ordered Vita Sackville-West's book Signposts in the sea to read at the seaside this summer.

I will also try to keep up with those which are being republished, and am looking forward to getting the new edition of Pym's Some tame gazelle.

I've bought from Amazon several titles which have particularly attracted me with their synopses, and I am sure that I will be easily distracted as bloggers recommend books to me, and I see other blog posts on VMCs.

My only rule is that I must read at least one VMC each week, and blog about it, and until I am done with "catch-up" posts, I must write at least one of these each week. I shall also blog about recent acquisitions sporadically!

I'm also hoping that fellow VMC-phile bloggers might like to write some guest posts for the blog. I don't really want reviews, unless it's a book that I'm reading or have already read - because I need to keep the blog about my journey through the VMCs, but I'd love to hear about people's collections or thoughts to do with VMCs.

Anyway, that's all for now - I need to get on with my next VMC, which is Stevie Smith's Novel on yellow paper.


  1. What a wonderful blog Verity! You are going to be such a source of trouble but in a good way, the Antonia White books sound really intriguing. Makes me want to get out there on days off hunting for green covers.

  2. I like the idea of being a source of trouble. You'll want to find Novel on yellow paper once I've told you about it!

  3. I have only read two and a half of the Viragoes on your TBR shelf (again with the half! there was really no excuse as it was The Dud Avocado and I was really enjoying it. I suspect Uni took over my reading time).

    I already have guest posts in mind :P.

    Personally I will go for green where I can but some of the newer editions are lovely, especially those by Barbara Pym and Muriel Spark that are currently being re-issued. I also really like the Molly Keane/MJ Farrell copies. Cost & convenience usually dictate for me which editions I'll go for but as long as they are Virago I usually don't mind. I was collecting Viragoes before I was consciously collecting green ones and I can't afford to replace the ones I have.

  4. Cost and convenience are key, but I do agree that while the fascination of the green editions holds, some of the other ones are lovely.

  5. Definitely the green Viragos for me. While I too like some of their newer ones, especially the Daphne du Ms, they're just not the same. They don't bring out the collecting instinct in me...

  6. Agree about the collecting instinct Simon, but the new ones bring out the New Book instinct in me...