Some people attribute a love of certain movies to their book counterparts. It’s wonderful albeit sometimes disappointing to find movies that try to live up to the stories, characters, plot that is set-up and given thorough detail in the book. For this certain case though, I’d like to share that the opposite happened to me. My discovery of the book, and later on the author, is all thanks to a movie.
I became a fan of Victorian, Regency Era-related literature back in High School when my friend introduced Romance Novels to me. I found them short but fun, interesting and very much appealing to my then (and ever-present) romantic self. I read book after book after book whenever one was available. However, my first encounter with this certain book at that time discouraged me from reading further. For an English class, one of our choice for books was Sense and Sensibility, which I was very excited to start on. Soon after I started though, it was obvious that I could not devote the time nor the concentration to actually find interest in the book and finish it. So I stopped after a few pages and decided to choose another book. After all, if it was Regency Era I was attracted to, my short and not so difficult romance novels were always there.
I thought I had given up on Jane Austen. That bad start made me think that I was probably not fit to read Austen books. To each their own, since each person has a certain genre or theme of books they like to read. Maybe, Austen books weren’t my thing. That was what I thought, till I watched Pride and Prejudice (2005 – Keira Knightley version). When I first watched it, I cannot remember. But it was like love at first sight.
Ever since then, I’ve been actively (not obsessed), pursuing my still-growing love for Jane Austen’s works. This is my collection so far…
My Austen Originals collection. These consist of 2 copies of Pride and Prejudice, one copy of Northanger Abbey, and one copy of Mansfield Park. My first P&P copy is the one on the utmost left, which I bought at a book sale back in High School. I never got around to reading it until I was in college. That second copy of P&P was a gift by my uncle to my sister for Christmas last year, but since she’s not a big fan, she decided to give it to me instead. Mansfield Park and NorthangerAbbey were both purchased from my favorite local bookstore, Fully Booked. I purchased my copy of Mansfield Park either in late 2008 or early 2009. My copy of Northanger Abbey, I bought earlier this week.
So far, I only have 3 books out of Austen’s 6 novels, of which include Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion and Emma.
I am very much in love with the Pride and Prejudice edition my sister gave to me. The sides have those golden-colored pages, giving it a more classic feel. It’s also hard-bound which makes it even sturdier. And, the inside includes scenes from the story.
This Worthpress edition of Northanger Abbey which I recently discovered at Fully Booked, was one of 2 or 3 remaining. It immediately caught my eye because of the similar design to the Moleskine notebook. I opened it up and found that the pages were smooth to the touch. It was also colored, as it included a few pictures and artwork describing the characters and the story, as well as the setting. It also included some short descriptions about Jane Austen and her life. I found one last copy of Mansfield Park in this edition, but as I had already another copy, I decided against buying a double copy. Maybe I’ll buy another copy later, when I’ve completed all 6 novels.
Next is my Austen-related collection which includes sequels by various Austen fans. My favorite buys are Pride and Prejudice sequels as I’m a big fan of Darcy and Elizabeth. Out of these 5 books, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and The Jane Austen Handbook were both unexpected bookfinds. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict was a book I found on the “Sale” table. It was actually located somewhere in the back of the pile and was something I had almost missed. The Jane Austen Handbook was lonely on a shelf when I had discovered it. It was the last copy of its kind, so I immediately took it and bought it. All 5 of these books, I bought from Fully Booked.
Mr Darcy Takes A Wife and Darcy and Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley are both by Linda Berdoll. It’s a sequel ‘series’ to Pride and Prejudice. Mr Darcy Takes a Wife is the first book, and Darcy and Elizabeth is the second book. Don’t read Darcy and Elizabeth without reading Mr Darcy Takes a Wife first because it will be hard to understand where the story is coming from, if you’re basing it solely on how Pride and Prejudice ended. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (if you’ve not yet read my review on it here), though not a sequel to the story, writes about a modern girl – a Jane Austen fan, who gets sucked into Jane Austen’s time. The Jane Austen Handbook on the other hand, is a book about etiquette and culture for people who wish to know more about the society Jane Austen and her characters were surrounded by. It includes interesting tidbits about mannerisms and tips, which may seem somewhat unfathomable to the modern man or woman.
I’m actually very proud about my collection so far. Though it may not be as varied or as large as other Austen fans’ collections, it’s something that is slowly growing, book after book after book. One day, when I have my own place, I’d love to buy lots of well-written Jane Austen sequels, as well as Austen novels with wonderful print editions. Books are of course, an investment, so buying many of the same book can be a personal investment in the long run. With Jane Austen being such a popular author, there are surely many book editions out there, with various additional contents that make them a “find” to various people all over the world.
So far, this is just the beginning of my collection.