Penguin Classics Adorn Useful Objects

Alison Morris - August 22, 2008

The last time I was in London, two and a half years ago, my nerdy heart was won over by a MUG, of all things, which I felt the need to bring back as a stupidly expensive souvenir for me + another pair to give as gifts. What was printed on the mug? The old classic Penguin Books cover of Pride and Prejudice, as you might have guessed from the photo at right. The store where I bought these mugs had a few other designs in stock at the time, but I went the Austen route, thinking it’d make the perfect accompaniment to many cups of tea. As it has.

Now that there are MANY other designs in this Penguin mug line, though, I can’t help wondering if my P&P cup isn’t a little lonely in its cabinet? Were the exchange rate not so ghastly I might try to arrange for it to become part of a set. Or perhaps part of a SEAT. (Read on….)

Recently I learned that the design group Art Meets Matter, which created my beloved mug, has come up with another something to woo readers: deck chairs, featuring Penguin Books covers printed on cotton canvas stretched across a wooden frame. There are a handful in the original striped classics design, and a few sporting covers from Agatha Christie and James Bond covers too.

HAD I a beach house, a yard, or a deck, I’d be coveting one of these, but what Gareth and I have is a windy balcony, destined to turn any of these chairs into a VERY expensive kite! I will therefore have to miss the pleasure of dozing off on an oversized cover of The Big Sleep, turning the pages atop The Common Reader, or sitting on a good mystery. Perhaps one of you can let me know how that goes?

I’m going to picture myself in this scene, below, the next time I start going stir-crazy within the windowless walls of my office… sigh.

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