Penguin Collectors Society


  1. Penguin Times Sixty Five

    To borrow an analogy from my previous trade, book collecting is a ‘background batch’ activity – undertaken to no fixed timescale – a bookish weekend, say, or looping in and out of charity shops on the High Street. It is not until now a ’real time’ task where one has to be in a certain place by a certain time, to perform a specific transaction. Such has been the case in recent weeks for me and my colleagues who find themselves within the M25. For brand new ’horizontal grid’ Penguins are being published faster (one a weekday), cheaper (90p, less than a packet of ciggies) and bigger (B format) than they were seventy years ago. One has to be up in time before they run out at ’selected outlets’ (M&S, Smiths – but not all of them) to buy a copy of the weekday Times in a poly bag with a Penguin inside it. The poly bag has a ’triangle’ label like the ones shown below.


  2. Penguin Celebrations - a Checklist

    In September 2007 Penguin issued a set of 36 books from across their range, designed specifically to be ‘collectable’. The books recalled the original 1935, horizontal band covers, colour-coded according to subject, and numbered on the spine (albeit supplemented by the full ISBN on the rear cover). Rather than reproduce the original cover style exactly, the front covers were framed in a white border. The colour coding largely followed Penguin’s original design; described on the rear cover of the new series as: ‘Light Blue for big ideas; Green for mystery; Orange for fantastic fiction; Pink for distant lands; Dark blue for real lives; Purple for viewpoints.’ These descriptions adopted a slightly more prosaic stance on the front covers; with ‘distant lands’ following the original designation of ‘Travel & Adventure’, and, respectively, Non-Fiction, Crime, Fiction, Biography and Essays (almost exactly matching the original Penguin designations). For the full list of titles, see the Celebrations page on the Penguin website .


  3. The Early Penguin Travel and Adventure Titles – The "Cerise Series"

    This article is closely based on two articles that appeared in The Penguin Collector in December 2007 and December 2008. It is designed to accompany Duncan Smith’s The site is images supported by text, this is text supported by images. Feel free to travel between them.