I’m more of a reader than a collector, which is probably a good thing, because I keep my book purchases away from duplicates (or worse) bought because I couldn’t resist the cover of a new issue. Nicholas Royle is both, but his collecting habits are very particular: his imprint of choice is Picador, the White-thorny Variety, although over the years he has expanded to include the list of black Picador classics. White Spines is his entertaining treatise on collecting books, perfect for the nerdier bibliophile you might be, dear reader.
I may be indiscreet, but I will try not to offend. I can get into somewhat confusing details at times, but I will try not to be boring
I’ve always been on Picador’s list, even though I wasn’t as apathetic as Royle, who had a passion for printing as a student, ten years after Sonny Mehta founded it in 1972. Mehta’s goal was to publish outstanding international writing, starting with eight titles by authors ranging from Angela Carter to Jorge Luis Borges. The first to attract Royle’s attention was Anna Kavan’s ice cream. Over the years, he was enthusiastic about the list, an passion that led him to a variety of antique shops, looking for the characteristic white thorns that disappeared with the advent of wrap envelopes, and surprisingly, only in 2016 did he himself admit that he was on a mission to collect the lot. Other prints came in-he discovered a fondness for Paladins and king penguins and set them all up according to the print in the manner of some bookstores.
I remember Foyles doing it at the time, but it had more to do with publishing discounts than passion. Several copies are bought-at one point he wonders about building an art installation from a collection of Graham Swift’s recent commissions, the Picador, which is usually found in antique stores, but after buying a few, he decides to oppose it. The irresistible inclusions-the inscriptions, the notes, the tickets-lead to further duplications and a little Internet Research to track their content. Royle completes the whole with a list of his Picadors that he has collected for almost forty years, shared by spine: white and “anomalies”.
Unless I say I want to go to Oxfam, in which matter he will probably go with me. If this happens, we will inevitably be together in the books and it will be as if you are next to someone you know at the urinal and you can not leave
Royle is a short story author, novelist, publisher, publisher, and antique store owner.he is deeply immersed in the world of books, a man who likes to read while walking. Filled with anecdotes and anecdotes, his book is both fun and informative. He’s a man who can’t walk past an Oxfam bookstore without going inside and wonders if he should ignore the Notting Hill branch he hadn’t met before, knowing he might be after for his interview with publisher Patrick Janson-Smith, but can’t resist. Conversations and dreams listened to-this is a man who dreams of meetings with books-always come back when we meet writers, publishers, art directors and Booksellers Picador. I loved this fun and discursive book that took me back to my early bookstore days when the Picador Thorns were still white.