#bookaday 8: Have more than one copy

I Capture The Castle  by Dodie Smith is one of my favourite books of all time. Everything about it is quite simply lovely. It’s beautifully written, with eccentric, deeply flawed but still somehow likeable characters. Despite being partly about first love, it’s never sentimental. It’s bittersweet, wry and funny, devoid of cliché and packed with charm.

Amazingly, I didn’t read it until I was an adult, despite it being a popular book with younger girls (and indeed, if you have a bright daughter aged around 12 or older, please do buy it for her). The copy I read first was this Virago paperback edition.

I think I just picked this copy up in Waterstones, or possibly Books Etc, either when I was a student or when I’d just started my first ‘proper’ job. As soon as I’d read it I lent it to my mum, knowing that she would love it, and she did, and I think my sister's read it as well. I'm constantly recommending it to people.

A few years later, my parents bought me this beautiful illustrated hardback copy from a second-hand bookseller. It's a Folio Society edition - I love the Folio Society.

I absolutely love it, and have read this copy at least three times. It’s so satisfying to hold, with exquisite pen-and-ink pictures and high-quality paper – plus, the style seems so in keeping with the period in which the book is set. This feels like the sort of book Cassandra Mortmain, who narrates the story, might have owned herself.

Despite owning the Folio Society edition, though, I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of the old paperback. I love the story so much that giving it away completely would seem all wrong – plus, it’s one of those books that I like to keep on hand just in case it’s ever vitally important that I lend it to someone.