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Save $5,324.75 when you buy 1,082 books.
June 28, 2005 9:32 AM   Subscribe

The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection. "From Edwin A. Abbott to Emile Zola, the 1,082 titles in the Penguin Classics Complete Library total nearly half a million pages." The weight of the books is approximately 700 pounds. Amazon is offering free shipping! I wonder how big the box would be waiting at my door. (via)
posted by clgregor (32 comments total)

 
I think themorningnews.org was the first to pick this up. I noticed it did the blog rounds after they did. Not that you should necessarily know this, I'm just saying.

If I remember correctly it comes out to not-such-a-good-deal at $7 a paperback, royalty free book. I guess the free shipping does pad some of the costs.
posted by geoff. at 9:34 AM on June 28, 2005


You Save: $5,324.75 (40%) - It might be picked up by serious collectors.
posted by webmeta at 9:58 AM on June 28, 2005


Serious collectors wouldn't buy in paperback, would they?
posted by cardboard at 10:07 AM on June 28, 2005


I wonder how big the box would be waiting at my door.

I believe your standard US copy paper box weighs about 50 lbs.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:14 AM on June 28, 2005


I could probably only read, like, half of these.
posted by Faze at 10:19 AM on June 28, 2005


cardboard writes "Serious collectors wouldn't buy in paperback, would they?"

Though individually they aren't worth collecting, the collection itself might be worth more than the sum of it's parts. Besides not all collectors are "serious". I'd be all over this in a second if my annual book budget was in the $10K range.
posted by Mitheral at 10:46 AM on June 28, 2005


The good news about this is that if you throw out all the Anthony Trollope you'll be able to finish the collection in a couple of weeks.
posted by Decani at 10:55 AM on June 28, 2005


it comes out to not-such-a-good-deal at $7 a paperback, royalty free book.

You pay for more than just the basic texts when you buy Penguin Classics. The introductions and notes and the better editorial care make them better than what you will get in a downloaded file from Gutenberg or in cheaper printed versions such as Wordsworth Editions. Whether that means Penguins are worth the extra money is a matter between you and your wallet.
posted by pracowity at 10:56 AM on June 28, 2005


You Save: $5,324.75 (40%)

Plus you save another $30 if you get an Amazon VISA card.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:15 AM on June 28, 2005


Amazon card is %3 on Amazon purchases -- $240 savings.
posted by stbalbach at 11:20 AM on June 28, 2005


Er.. I'm holding out for the hardcover Norton Critical Edition collection. (Yes, it's only in my imagination.)

This collection should probably come with a Corbusier Lounge, and a tea set.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 11:21 AM on June 28, 2005


Do all of the books have the same size and basic cover design? "Penguin Classics" I've seen look pretty similar from the outside.

This thing might actualy be somewhat practical for pure decorational use otherwise.
posted by delmoi at 11:51 AM on June 28, 2005


classical music lovers should check this out, then
posted by matteo at 11:54 AM on June 28, 2005


And jazz fans will want this.
posted by languagehat at 12:18 PM on June 28, 2005


if nothing else, it's a good "freak out" item for your wishlist. "You want what??"
posted by crunchland at 12:52 PM on June 28, 2005


Will they throw in their trashy book about Hillary Clinton?
posted by bashos_frog at 1:10 PM on June 28, 2005


I own that Fitzgerald set; it's very lovely. And there was a complete Mozart set a few years ago that was much larger than the Scarlatti (I don't own that one).
posted by matildaben at 1:11 PM on June 28, 2005


The good news about this is that if you throw out all the Anthony Trollope you'll be able to finish the collection in a couple of weeks.

Hee hee.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:39 PM on June 28, 2005


I would have liked this as a High School Graduation present, but it is a little too late now. I imagine I own most of the titles already-- at least the ones I wanted to read. For example the 47 volumes of Shakespeare- I have a very nice hardcover edition which contains the complete works as well as lots of extras (glossary, woodcuts, First line and character indexes, historical notes and so forth.) And it only cost me $40.00 twenty years ago. At $7.00 per title the Penguin editions are a whopping $329.00 for the Shakespeare titles alone!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:39 PM on June 28, 2005


So would buying this make it too obvious that I read this ask.me thread?
posted by Gary at 2:06 PM on June 28, 2005


delmoi: "Do all of the books have the same size and basic cover design? "Penguin Classics" I've seen look pretty similar from the outside."

One of the reviewers says they don't have a standardized design, so he gave them away to a library. Philanthropic, but very strange.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 2:24 PM on June 28, 2005


If these are standard Penguin paperbacks (i.e. non acid-free), then I'd imagine they'll be too yellowed to read within a few decades, if that. Not a good deal.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 2:27 PM on June 28, 2005


This needs to be bundled with the The Criterion Collection 2004, save $2,501.00.
posted by beowulf573 at 2:36 PM on June 28, 2005


Incidentally, although the primary texts may be royalty free, the translations and critical notes themselves would not be. Incidentally, I think that some of the Penguin classics are *still* in copyright (though I could be wrong), since The Waste Land is one and it's been less than 75 (?) years after Eliot's death.

Also, the Penguin classics series isn't just your typical high school reading list of Shakespeare and Victorians. It's the best mass market, easily available set of translations: the Kalevalla (in the other thread) is a Penguin classic, as are the poems of Tu Fu and Li Po, Poems of the Late Tang, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Catullus, The Golden Ass, Kalidasa, The Book of Disquiet, etc. I think it's due to the editorship of Betty Radice, herself a translator. I've seen a special translation Penguin Classic dedicated to her in which various Penguin translators write about the problems of translation.

In the continuing interests of pretending that I know more about this than I actually do, the Penguing books began with a bordlerless period cover, shifted to the famous yellow National Geographicky cover, but in the last few years completely redesigned the series with a very slick all black design, with sans serif typography and dramatic photos that bleed to the edges.
posted by kensanway at 2:58 PM on June 28, 2005


I added it to my wish list--any of you fine folks get an urge, feel free--i promise to share. : >
posted by amberglow at 4:05 PM on June 28, 2005


I'm glad my city has a PUBLIC LIBRARY where I can borrow at least some of these books FOR FREE.

So if anybody wants to throw eight grand at me I'd rather have a decent used car and a couple thousand to spend on insurance. Thank you kindly!
posted by davy at 4:34 PM on June 28, 2005


And jazz fans will want this

Cough.

Sorry, something in my throat.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:24 PM on June 28, 2005


Holy kamoly.
posted by languagehat at 5:39 PM on June 28, 2005


Damn, all the seeds went away. Sorry, hat. Maybe something else will come up. But don't count on it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:22 PM on June 28, 2005


One of the reviewers says they don't have a standardized design, so he gave them away to a library. Philanthropic, but very strange.

You left out "very made up". People like to kid.
posted by item at 2:17 AM on June 29, 2005


I would just like to remind everyone that my birthday is in less than a month.

And that my ex husband "lost" more than half of my books when I left him.
posted by Kellydamnit at 6:31 AM on June 29, 2005


If you think this is a good deal, try 100 Dalkey Archive books for $500!
http://www.centerforbookculture.org/pages/support_sale.html
posted by kensanway at 8:40 PM on June 30, 2005


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