The days of getting a pint for 80p were over before I was born. Nowadays 80p gets you a pint of milk and a packet of Angel Delight- (tasty but less mind-altering.)
For a treat that fattens the mind rather then the waistline, head to your nearest bookstore and pick up one of the new Penguin Classics range of 80p mini masterpieces.
In an enlightened move in the fight to save the book trade (and bring classics to the masses), Penguin have released 80 ‘Little Black Classics’: Small enough to fit in your handbag and cheap enough to be bought alongside your lunchtime meal deal.
Before embarking on a recent train journey I spent £1.60 and received in return, Jane Austen’s ‘The Beautiful Cassandra’ and Guy de Maupassant’s ‘Femme Fatale’: Literary snippets whose slimness is just as appealing as their price. Whilst the skinny volumes won’t appear as grand and imposing on your bookshelf as their ancestors, the feeling of intimidation involved in embarking on a 500 page literary voyage is pleasantly absent, (as is the chance of being awoken by a tome of 19th century literature landing on your nose.) And let’s face it, carting a half tone of Dickens around the country is no fun for anyone.
It seems appropriate that the booklets, so perfect for train journey’s, have been released in celebration of the publishers 80th birthday. Allen Lane, (the gentleman who was so disgruntled with the choice of literature available at train station’s that he formed Penguin), would be delighted that his brain child is celebrating their birthday by providing excellent and affordable train reading material.
(Alternatively, you could buy yourself 4 Freddo’s and pretend you’re on the Hogwarts Express).