I have books on the mind this week. So when I spotted my beloved Travelman Short Story set on the library shelf last night, I felt impelled to introduce you to what I consider to be the most ingenious packaging for literature I've ever come across (yes, that's quite a bit of hyperbole, but read on and judge for yourself.)
In a nutshell, a Travelman is a short story that folds like a map. They were published in England when we were living there and I immediately bought the entire set. Each tale is complete and unabridged, and the catalogue includes such authors as Graham Greene, Saki, Dorothy Parker, Evelyn Waugh, Roald Dahl and many more.
Gorgeously designed with elegant, arresting illustrations, they pop right into your pocket or purse. Best of all, they never need to be entirely opened as they're designed to be read consecutively, page by page. I used to read mine on the Tube during rush hour and I'm pleased to say I never once annoyed the person sitting next to me. On the contrary, they were quite the conversation starter.
Each work of classic or modern fiction is printed on a single sheet of paper and is color-coded into genres like Comedy, Suspense, Classics and so on. Click HERE for a full list of titles (go to"Authors A-Z" at the top of the page). I just counted at least 12 I don't yet own so it looks like the obsessive-compulsive side of me is going to want to do some ordering.
Over the years, I've purchased several sets as gifts for friends and the reaction is always one of delight and amazement. They're so adorable, so unique and so highly collectible that any book lover in your life would be thrilled to own one.
The "More, more, more!" pre-recession me wants to buy another box set just in case something happens to the first, but the new 2009 me is going to calm down, take a deep breath and take good care of the ones I have.