I'm baaaaaaaaack

Happy New Year! Or should  I say, Bonne Année! I'm back in the good old US of A and comfortably ensconced in my daily routine again, though my sleep cycles are still screwed up.

Being in France again was equal parts awesome and frustrating; awesome = gorgeous boulevards, awesome museums and delicious coffee, frustrating = my rusty French, being vegetarian in a meat-lovers paradise, and angry CDG airport employees.  Probably the best moment was being in front of Notre Dame when the clock hit midnight and hundreds of tourists and French people started screaming BONNE ANNEE as we popped champagne and staggered down the streets next to the Seine.  We capped off the night with a nutella-banana crepe and it was amazing.

I could talk about the trip for hours but this is a blog about books not my vacation, so to bring it back on target I want to tell you about my book buying binges in France.  When it was all said and done, we only managed to fit in 2 anglo-bookstores (Shakespeare and Company and The Abbey, a Canadian bookstore) out of the 8 or 9 I had on my list.  However, that turned out to be more than enough to feed my habit.  The most exciting thing about book shopping in Paris is access to all the beautiful UK editions of books, specifically Penguin UKPicador and Vintage books.  Between the two of us, Jon and I snapped up 4 of Coralie Bickford-Smith's collection of redesigned F. Scott Fitzgerald classics, a beautiful Viking edition of Nicole Krauss’s The Great House, the gorgeous Picador editions of Cormac McCarthy’s Sutree, Outer Dark and Blood Meridian, a Picador edition of DeLillo’s Point Omega, a Vintage Classics edition of Heller's Catch-22, a Penguin UK edition of Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, and a White's Books pocket classic of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I already owned most of the books that I bought, but I couldn't help myself!  I constantly wonder why UK editions are so much better designed than US editions; not to say that US books aren't pretty, but I always find myself attracted to the UK versions so much more. Do the British just have better taste?  I am seriously considering more vacations to Europe just to buy more UK books (not that I really need an excuse to want to go back to Europe!).

Now that I have quite a few duplicate books, I'm thinking about doing some book give-aways consiting of my (gently used) US copies.  Would anyone be interested in winning free books? FREE! BOOKS! Just need to think of fun little contests, HMMM.

More pictures of the beautiful beautiful books we bought after the jump.

4 Responses so far.

  1. CT says:

    You can buy UK editions from Amazon.co.uk! I've done that for books not in print in the US.

    I also think The Book Depository sells UK versions, and they have free shipping on everything.

  2. Jon K says:

    I still can't believe you finally found a Confederacy of Dunces that wasn't ugly as all hell. I've seen like 15 different editions and they're all hideous.

  3. We actually have been getting quite a few UK editions of books at the used bookshop where I work. It's fun every week to see which ones come in, and I'm ALWAYS wondering whose library here in Chicago contains so many nice editions.

  4. Jem says:

    Yes, please to your book give away. Your blog has motivated me to read more and the only book I got for Christmas was a Casserole cookbook.

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