I know what my first thought would be if I saw a new books newsletter – but what about all the old books? Well, don’t worry, I’m here to help – heading up the reprints reviewers. If you spend your free time (and daydream time) browsing secondhand bookshops, much like the one in the photo above (Richard Booth Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye) then you’re in luck.

There has never been a better time for reprint fiction. Some publishing houses are devoted to it, some dip their toes in now and then, but there has definitely been a vogue of late for finding the best of the past. Each quarter we’ll be telling you the most wonderful reprints of the season, and would love to hear suggestions from you in turn.

Which am I most excited about this issue? It’s got to be the Shirley Jackson reprints from Penguin – the hard-to-find works of a much-loved writer are now available to all, and they’re just as interesting as her best known books.  And I’ve not read the Cornish and Lake District detective novels by John Bude – which Harriet reviews for this issue – but I’m very keen to now!

Do let us know what you think, and which books you’d love to see reprinted.


Happy reading – Simon, Reprints Editor at Shiny New Books

12 thoughts on “Reprints

  1. Without sounding like a broken record: All of DE Stevenson in a nice consistent trade paperback series and ditto for Nevil Shute.

    Also, Merle Miller.

    • Kilian Metcalf says:

      *And* in ebook format, too. I’ve been able to pick up the three Miss Buncle books and am always on the lookout for new DE Stevenson releases for ebook.

    • I don’t normally comment, but when I saw someone else able to recommend DE Stevenson AND Nevil Shute in the same sentence, I couldn’t resist. Two of my favourites! I’m getting into Angela Thirkell when I learned she based her setting on Barsetshire–Anthony Trollope is superb, and her take on the area several decades later is quite good.

      I know I should learn to live in the current world of literature, but this reprints ‘era’ is too good to pass up.

      Keep up the good work!

  2. Margaret Willingham says:

    Denis MacKail. He wrote about 36 books and I think they are all out-of-print except Greenery Street and Another Part of the Wood. He also wrote a biography of James Barrie that is available as an e-book. The asking price for a 1921 edition of _What Next?_ is $1800 on Amazon.

    I’ve read 6 of his books and my favourite is David’s Day. I love this quote:

    [Mackail is describing Bill Somerset, an artist who struggles with “life management.” After revealing Bill’s shortcomings, Mackail writes]:

    “The man, you say, was an imbecile; but we don’t agree with you. We can’t agree with you when we think of his workmanship and his imagination and skill. To us it just seems, as it has always seemed, that there are some people who fit into the curious pattern which has been evolved by the majority of human beings — and has often been described as ‘the world’ — and become part of it, and make use of it, and go ahead in it, and know just what they’re doing; while there are others, like Bill Somerset, who have obviously fetched up on the wrong planet and can never feel at home there, even when — as sometimes happens — the Fates stop sporting with them and they stumble into an ostensible niche.”

    • I actually picked up What Next? for £1 recently, so I will have to make sure to read it asap and report back! Thanks for the recommendation, Margaret.

      • Margaret Willingham says:

        Wow, great find! I look forward to reading your review.

  3. Margaret Willingham says:

    Found this blog: Furrowed Middlebrow, via Cosy Books. He has an interesting post about reprints:
    20 Novels that Should Be in Print but Aren’t.

    I’ve ordered a couple through ILL. I noticed he has one of your faves on the list: Guard Your Daughters. He mentions Hesperus is trying to reprint it. I think I might have read that on your blog too?

    • Oh yes, I know Scott’s blog – I must go over and read this post!

    • Oh yes, I am a fan of his! Loved his Stella Benson earlier, and have the Firbank on the way…

  4. Reprints have introduced me to Angela Thirkell whose books are lots of fun. You should definitely review one – I imagine you’d enjoy them.

    • You have read our minds – some of her books will be featuring in Issue 2!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *