It seems I have found a soul mate and partner in crime regarding Penguin collecting in the small country shed bookshop in  Kempton, Tasmania.  (Previous post about this shop here.) Phil who has had the shop for years has told me he is really enjoying helping me find Penguin books and he is digging them out of the woodwork of both his shed and his home. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has boxes of them buried in the back paddock.

I rode Sidney Scooter up there a couple of weeks ago and the box I had been filling up, keeping there because he only has facilities for cash and I had none on me at the time, was even fuller when I went back.  I told him I would look at anything he has and he has taken it to heart. 
This man’s shop really is a little goldmine of many second hand books. If you’re ever near Kempton, Tasmania, be sure to drop in on him.  Ask anyone in the town where he is located.  There is a sign on the door of the shed that simply states, “Ring bell, enter and I’ll be with you soon.”  He then walks over from the house.  He is quite elderly but his mind knows as much about the old books as anyone you’ll meet in this trade.

We spent more than an hour just talking books and I ended up with quite a scooter load and not only Penguins.

This is the latest “Second Hand Book Loot.”   I doubt I’ll come across any of these again in Australia.

The first book here is The Reader’s Guidedescribed as

“A panel of distinguished scholars and scientists advise you how and what to read in Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Belles Lettres, Biography, Classics,  History, Music Natural History, Novels,  Philosophy, Plays, Poetry, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Science and Sociology.  This planned syllabus for profitable reading contains over 1899 descriptive recommendations of the essential books in all these fields of knowledge and interest. 

It then proceeds to list all of the contributors. Edited by Sir William Emrys Williams and published in 1960 in Penguin’s Pelican Books. 

America The Vincible was published as a Penguin Special Book in 1959 by Emmet John Hughes.
It is described as a Study of America’s role in World Affairs.  Interestingly enough although written by an American about America, due to copyright reasons this edition was not offered for sale in the U.S.A. or Canada. Could this be why American’s don’t always realise what the rest of the world thinks of them? 🙂

Science News is part of a series. I don’t know off hand how many books were published in this series. I have a set of the Penguin Biology series and the binding is similar to this one. This book was published in 1947 and is number 3 of the series. It contains articles about The Testing of Intelligence, Synthetic Emeralds, The History of Blood Transfusion as well as some updates on the agricultural front, the medical front and an announcement that Colour Photography Has Arrived. There are other articles that have as interesting titles as the rest of this edition.  It certainly goes a long ways towards showing us how far we have come ion many fronts.

I find these the two following editions extremely interesting as they are the Penguin Hansard reports.
No 1 is From Chamberlain to Churchill and No. 2 is The National Front.  It is the verbatim account from the House of Commons Official Report of Parliamentary Debates and both were published in 1940.  The content includes information regarding the beginnings of World War II and are certainly an interesting history that was available to the public at the time.

While I am on the topic of World War II these two Penguin Specials are also from that era. Britain by Mass Observation was published in 1939 and Genevieve’s Tabouis’s Blackmail or War were published in 1938.


The following three Penguins are related more to the leisure activities in Sport and Music.  My book seller pulled the 60 Seasons of League Footballoff his desk and handed it to me with what I can only describe as reverence.  He asked me if I would be at all interested in anything like this.  “Yes absolutely” was my chortled reply.  I doubt there would be many copies of this book in Australia so it will be a great addition to the overall collection.  Published in 1958 it is Penguin Special No S 171.  Part One describes the League and its History; Part Two is a record of the chief records of all the League clubs, past and present, from Abedare Athletic to York City and Part Three is full of the Final League Tables: from 1888- 1958. 
There is a bibliography and index at the end of the book.

Next in line are two copies of Penguin Music Magazine published in 1946 Number I. The magazine has articles in it related to the following:

  • The Future of Opera in England
  • Music Inspired by Painting
  • Soviet Music in War-Time
  • Standards of Performance
  • An argument about What is the Purpose of Music Part I

There are also articles about new books, new music, record collections, music on the air and finishes up with articles about Opera in London, Ballet in London and Concerts in London at the time.

This last entry of Beethoven’s Music Score probably isn’t quite as rare but very difficult to find as well especially in Australia. There was a beautiful series of these published of various classical music scores. This one entitled Beethoven:  Coriolan and Egmont was Penguin Scores III and published in 1949.

I have two other very interesting Penguin Specials that I will post up in another post. They are about a current event that happened in the UK of great prominence but as they were handed to me with many newspaper articles clipped out of UK papers regarding the event I want to go through them and do a proper post about them.

These interesting books are just another reason why collecting old Penguin books is such a challenging and gratifying past time.  It is just so exciting to come across the wonderful variety that Penguin books that are now an important part of our social history.


Η πτώση


{«Ξέρετε τι είναι η γοητεία; Ένας τρόπος να ακούς να σου απαντούν ναι, χωρίς να ‘χεις κάνει καμιά συγκεκριμένη ερώτηση»}….

… {«Μόνο που, να, η επιβεβαίωση δεν είναι ποτέ οριστική, πρέπει να την κάνεις πάλι απ’ την αρχή με κάθε πλάσμα. Κάνοντάς την πάλι απ’ την αρχή, σου γίνεται συνήθεια. Σύντομα σου ‘ρχονται τα λόγια χωρίς να τα σκεφτείς, κι ακολουθεί η κίνηση αντανακλαστικά: μια μέρα βρίσκεσαι να παίρνεις, δίχως να ποθείς πραγματικά. Πίστεψε με, για μερικά τουλάχιστον πλάσματα, το πιο δύσκολο πράγμα στον κόσμο είναι να μην παίρνεις ό,τι δεν ποθείς»}…
… {«Να λοιπόν τι δε μπορεί ν’ ανεχτεί κανείς (εκτός απ’ αυτούς που δεν ζουν, θέλω να πω: τους εγκρατείς). Η μόνη άμυνα βρίσκεται στην κακεντρέχεια. Οι άνθρωποι λοιπόν σπεύδουν να κρίνουν για να μην κριθούν οι ίδιοι. Τι τα θέλετε; Η πλέον φυσική ιδέα στον άνθρωπο, αυτή που του έρχεται αυθόρμητα, σαν από τα βάθη της φύσης του, είναι η ιδέα της αθωότητάς του….Το ουσιώδες είναι να μείνουν αθώοι, να μην μπορούν να τεθούν υπό αμφισβήτησιν οι έμφυτες αρετές τους, και τα σφάλματά τους, αποκυήματα μιας παροδικής δυστυχίας, να είναι πάντοτε προσωρινά. Σας το ‘πα, το ζήτημα είναι να γλιτώσεις απ’ την κρίση. Επειδή είναι δύσκολο να της γλιτώσεις και απαιτεί μεγάλη επιδεξιότητα να καταφέρεις να θαυμάζουν και να συγχωρούν ταυτόχρονα τη φύση σου, επιδιώκουν όλοι να’ ναι πλούσιοι. Γιατί; Αναρωτιέστε; Για τη δύναμη, φυσικά. Κυρίως όμως γιατί ο πλούτος απαλλάσσει απ’ την άμεση κρίση, σε τραβάει από το πλήθος του μετρό για να σε κλείσει σ’ ένα νικέλινο αμάξι, σε απομονώνει σε απέραντα φυλαγμένα πάρκα, σε βαγκόνλι, σε καμπίνες πολυτελείας. Ο πλούτος, αγαπητέ μου φίλε, δεν είναι ακόμα η αθώωση, αλλά η αναστολή που ‘ναι πάντα καλό να παίρνεις…»}…
…{«Καμιά φορά τα χάνεις, αμφιβάλλεις για το ολοφάνερο, ακόμα κι όταν έχεις ανακαλύψει το μυστικό μιας καλής ζωής. Η λύση μου, φυσικά, δεν είναι η ιδανική. Όταν όμως δεν αγαπάς τη ζωή σου, όταν ξέρεις πως πρέπει να αλλάξεις ζωή, δεν έχεις περιθώρια επιλογής, δεν είναι; Τι να κάνεις για να ‘σαι ένας άλλος; Αδύνατο. Θα ‘πρεπε να μην είσαι πια κανένας, να ξεχάσεις τον εαυτό σου για κάποιον, έστω και για μια φορά. Πώς όμως; Μη με παραφορτώνετε. Είμαι σαν εκείνον το γερό-ζητιάνο που δεν ήθελε ν’ αφήσει το χέρι μου, μια μέρα έξω σ’ ένα καφενείο: «Αχ κύριε» έλεγε, «δεν είναι που ‘σαι κακός, είναι που χάνεις το φως σου». Ναι, έχουμε χάσει το φως, τα πρωινά, την άγια αθωότητα εκείνου που συγχωρεί μόνος του τον εαυτό του.»}

Tea time.

Legend has it that tea was discovered roughly 5,000 years ago by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung when a single leaf blew into the emperor’s pot of boiling water. He found that not only did the leaf improve the taste of the water, but it seemed to have a stimulative effect on the body. The rest, as they say, is the history of the world’s favorite beverage.

The second tea story comes as the Indian answer to the Ancient Chinese legend of Shen Nung’s discovery of tea. According to this Indian tale, tea was a divine creation of the Buddha himself. During a pilgrimage to China, the Buddha was said to have taken a vow to meditate without rest for nine years. But, after some time, he dozed off. Upon awakening, he was said to have torn off his eyelids and thrown them to the ground out of frustration. Supposedly, the eyelids took root and germinated into plants that sprouted leaves with an eyelid shape. He then chewed the leaves of this plant, and his fatigue vanished. The plant, of course, was said to be the first tea plant, which he carried with him to China. However, it is important to note that there is no evidence that the Buddha ever went to China, not to mention that fact that he’d have bigger problems to worry about (besides staying awake) if he didn’t have eyelids.

Yet another story recounts the origin of a popular tea in China, Ti Kuan Yin. According to the legend, Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, presented tea as a gift to a devout farmer who diligently maintained her old, dilapidated temple. Inside the temple was Kuan Yin’s elegant iron statue to whom followers prayed for enlightenment. One day, however, the iron statue appeared to come alive. Shocked, the farmer fell to his knees and the goddess whispered,”The key for your future is just outside this temple. Nourish it with tenderness; it will support you and yours for generations to come.” Unable to contain his curiosity, he went outside and found a withered, straggly bush.

After much care, the bush grew rich and full, with thick green leaves. Experimenting, the farmer dried the leaves in a stone wok. They soon turned a smooth charcoal black, just like the statue of Kuan Yin. The nectar produced from leaves fired in this way was ambrosial and fragrant, like the finest blossoms. It was more delicious than any other drink that ever touched his lips. Thus, the magical Ti Kuan Yin – “the tea of Kuan Yin” – came into being.

The next story describes yet another tea’s origin. Unlike the other stories, this one lies not in the magic of legends, but in the practicality of economics. Also unlike the most of the tea stories mentioned, the origin of Genmai Cha is historically accurate. Contrary to the affordable luxury it has become today, tea used to be an extremely pricey commodity. The Japanese peasants found it difficult to afford larger quantities of tea, and would mix it with roasted rice, an abundant (and cheap!) product. Thus, they were able to squeeze more cups from the same amount of leaves. However, this tea has outgrown its humble origins to become a favorite of many urban dwellers in both Japan and the West, and is considered one of the more interesting variations on tea.

Tea’s discovery by the West gave birth to the world’s largest and most powerful monopoly. The power of the British East India Company, nicknamed “the John Company,” derived from the West’s unquenchable thirst for tea and the unconscionable lengths the company would go to fulfill this demand. While consumers in the West desired tea, they were unable to find anything China wanted to trade for it – until they discovered opium. The British East India Company grew this harmful, inexpensive crop in neighboring India and traded it for Chinese tea. Because of its addictive nature, the demand for the drug spread rapidly. This resulted in lifetimes of addiction, and ensured a practically endless supply of tea.

The final story deals not with the origin of a certain tea, but rather with the word “tea” itself. In China, tea is most commonly known as “cha”. The reason we call it by another name reflects an interesting mix of history and geography. When tea first reached European markets in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, it came from the trading port of Amoy (present day Xiamen) in Fujian province of China. In the local Fukienese dialect tea is called “tey” rather than the more common “cha”, so in Western Europe, and later the United States, it was the word “tea” that stuck, while other countries, such as India, Russia, and Turkey, were introduced to tea as “cha” by traders traveling over-land along the Silk Road.
















A Paris.

5 days. 5 (+3) friends
Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/Listeni/ˈpɛrɪs/French: [paʁi] (is  the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), has a population of about 2,230,000. Its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants. An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe’s foremost centres of learning and the arts and the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world’s leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities.














































RAE – ‘NOTURNAL TRIPS’ @ Signal Gallery

Introducing the up and coming street artist RAE, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. This will be his first show in London.

The artists says:

‘Nocturnal Trips’ means everything and nothing about how art relates to my existence. In a literal sense, it deals with the the “trips” I take to install the work I put up on the streets at night and how the city seems a lot different when your scheming as opposed to getting a latte.

In a more metaphorical sense, “Nocturnal Trips” deals with the thoughts, flashbacks and projections I think about when going in and out of an awake-sleep state in the middle of the night.  The body may be physically resting but the mind continues to work.  I get more work done tossing and turning in my bed, getting up to take a pee or checking my front window for crimes being committed then I do most mid-days. Those nocturnal thoughts, however absurd or realistic they may be, play out as random images, in a non-sensical way, but are usually the most fruitful and translatable to my work.