The best presents are book shaped.

Some buy new books,
some avoid new books,
and some have new books thrust upon them.

A brief post on my continued foray into the world of new small/independent publishing houses. As I’ve said before, I always buy older second-hand books (I won’t bore you with the reasons again as, to be honest, I’m not sure what they are myself), so this brave new world of modern publishers is all very exciting.

It seems to be becoming a tradition for certain family members to buy me new books for Christmas and birthdays, and a very welcome tradition it is too. A few days ago I was delighted to unwrap two stunningly beautiful editions from Tartarus Press. I say ‘new’ publishers but, looking at their website, I see they are celebrating their 25th year at the moment. One of these days I may have to look outside of my own small world of paperback lined shelves and find out what the hell is actually happening out there in the world of the real people.

Just look at these beauties. And from two of my favourite authors too! Robert Aickman and Arthur Machen.

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All of the Tartarus covers are in slightly varied and exceptionally classy creams with minimal distractions on the spine. I really am thinking now that I may have to clear one or two shelves purely for a Tartarus collection; just imagine them there, all lined up neatly in a prime position.

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Look at those beautifully designed covers. The futurist/deco style typeface on the Machen and I’m thinking that’s a Garamond for the Aickman?

But that’s not all, carefully peel back the dust jacket and you reveal the foiled designs on the covers themselves.

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You can marvel (and possibly drool a little) at the Tartarus Press website here:


They have a ridiculous amount of some of my favourite authors in print. I’ve seriously got my eye on the Guy de Maupassant or the Theophile Gautier next.

So much choice . . . so much choice!