The perfect handbag copy of Pride and Prejudice

I found it today in Newtown, Sydney. It’s ‘The Perfect Handbag Copy’ that I’ve been waiting forever to have. At least, I now see it that way even though I’d been fairly happy carting along a couple of different full-sized versions up until this point. It’s stylish, smaller than the width of my handspan, and the font is still easily readable.

From UK’s Octopus Publishing Group, bargain books branch Bounty Books, it’s really cute! Just £3.99 on the site (£7.99 on the cover) or, as I snapped it up for, (AU)$9.95 (in Modern Times, Newtown), it’s a paperback and was published on 1 November 2011 (according to their website). ISBN: 9780753722725.

It has no introduction, and no bells-and-whistles, other than a 2-page ‘author biography’, but I think this makes it perfect as the pocket-sized mini accompaniment for the road trips and train journeys where you don’t want to be deciding between books because of their size. Despite its A5 size (according to my measurements, at any rate!) this copy still manages to span just some 420 pages.

The cover, although looking matt in the picture above, is actually a patent or shiny gold style, that someone said to me looked a bit ‘Asian’. I can only assume that’s because of the red/gold colours together. I think it’s gorgeous, although how it presents Pride and Prejudice is questionable, and reading it is almost like reading a pocket-bible. The butterflies and flowers are also quite lovely, but the red itself sets it off well with a red spine, and red on the inside of the back and front covers, as well as an extra red page on either end giving a nice little touch of luxury.

In the same style, readers can also pick up Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Hardy, Jane Eyre, C Bronte, Wuthering Heights, E Bronte and… Emma, Austen! I think the reason it is perfect for me is that it’s so low-maintenance. With a cover that’s essentially one you can wipe-down, it’s brilliant for my tardis of a handbag (where everything from fruit juice, coffee, rain, soy chocolate, newspaper ink and assorted other yuck is likely to end up all overit). Also, while it’s a paperback, it’s somewhat card-covered, meaning it’s less likely to get destroyed by other books and pens that get piled on top of it.

My other perfect handbag edition (although not necessarily handbag-sized) is the standard Penguin paperback copy (with the orange cover) because it’s so cheap, it doesn’t matter if it gets tatty and it’s actually surprisngly slim-line. I’ve also seen some lovely mini-P&Ps but haven’t yet bought any (it’s on my list!). What’s your favourite copy to cart around, and why?

The romantic in me also thinks this would make a lovely wedding favour with a personalised card or note inside, or bridesmaid’s gift or something!

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