Friday, 5 November 2010

Canongate Classics

Regular readers will know that one of my genres of books is the republication of "neglected" or "forgotten" books, which have been brought out of obscurity by kindly publishers. You'll know about my love of Persephone books, Greyladies, Girls gone by publishing, Fidra, Bloomsbury Group...

I was thus very excited to get an email from Canongate last week with the subject line "Classic titles saved from obscurity with digital publicaiton". Canongate are making available over 100 of their Canonongate classic titles on "print on demand" or "ebooks" in an attempt to "combat the long-running problem of slow running books going out of print". The titles will be available via a dedicated shop at the Book Depository.

I know very little of Scottish literature, although I recognised many names from the list that was sent to me - Margaret Oliphant, Naomi Mitchison, Rebecca West, Robert Louis Stevenson... I am excited that Canongate sent me 3 of the titles that appealed to me (I chose purely on title). Here they are, and I hope to be telling you more about them in the next month!


  1. I was going through their catalogue and
    Memoirs of a Highland Lady and A Childhood in Scotland both sound very appealing! Looking forward to your thoughts on the tree you picked :)

  2. The Gowk Storm is a famous Scottish novel, not that I have read it... Sunset Song is another but not sure if it is included in this run, albeit a Canongate Classic. Popular texts for schools.

  3. We'll have to compare notes whenever mine arrive - missed delivery on Friday and now have to wait 72 hours before collecting from sorting office :(

  4. I'll be anxious to see what you think about the quality of these. When I've gotten similar things off of Amazon (from a different publisher), the margins have been huge, the font hard to read, and the editing poorly done. I would love to know that someone is doing this well enough to actually buy them. :)

  5. On Friday night I was listening to a podcast about this very subject. A woman was asking how she could acquire 10 books for her book club when the title was out of print. The guest suggested 'print on demand'. He said that the quality has come a long way and judging by yours in the photo...he's right!

  6. Fantastic! This is such a great initiavtive. Happy reading.

  7. Nymeth - there were really lots that appealed to me - a great selection.

    Claire - Sunset song isn't included. I am really looking forward to reading Gowk storm.

    Teresa - have you had yours yet? Did you get the same three?

    Susan - these are good quality and something that I am happy to read.

    Darlene - yes, these are excellent quality. They're also available as ebooks so that might solve the woman's problem too - I finally saw someone with a Kindle on Saturday!

    Willa - absolutely fantastic.

  8. I think I heard about this as well and I love the way they look. What is it about the fact that they manage to make forgotten classics look so appealing all the time? I can't wait to get my hands on some of these. As well as read your thoughts on the 3 you selected!


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