I am subjecting you to that paragraph because this post is not so much about a book as it is about the format of the book, which is apparently a copyrighted format. What am I talking about? Mansfield Park in "Flipback" format. Here is a picture of it in my hand in my bedroom, because I forgot to take a picture of it on the train platform:
|Just imagine I'm waiting for a train. Next to the bed.|
The main features of the Flipback are:
- The text is rotated 90º to the ... right? ... so that the spine runs parallel, between lines of text
- The text is printed in a modern, sans-serif, easy-to-read typeface
- The paper is thin
- The bound part of the book is only glued to the back cover, and the spine and front covers are hinged on
Tangent: You know that 1950s Leave it to Beaver-type trope about little boys always having their pockets full of all kinds of random things? That's so me. Give me a pocket and I will have it crammed full of keys, transit pass, tissues/handkerchief, lipbalm, coin purse, gloves and/or hat, and tiny book before I'm halfway down the street.
Unfortunately for Flipback, their list of published books doesn't currently include anything I'm really all that interested to read, and their "classics" series only includes Austen. While I have enjoyed all my Austen multilection, I don't know that I'm willing to spend £10 for the privilege of reading another. (No, I'm not willing to spend that much on more Jane. Sorry, Miss Austen, but I already own all your books multiple times over, and you're dead so it's not like it helps you any.) The format seems like a worthy thing, though, and I hope it does well enough to have more titles added to the list.
Oh, and what is there to say about Mansfield Park? This is a long overdue multilection on my part; I remember as I finished it the last/first time having a feeling like I was passing over something interesting. Certainly the book is less "fun" than the others. Fanny isn't the most engaging heroine, and the plotting is less than thrilling -- for example most of the dramatic events of the ending take place "off stage". (Plotting? More like plodding, amirite? Sorry.) But I still found it interesting and rewarding. First of all, because the book has a great deal to say, quite explicitly, about Austen's views on religion, and secondly (and relatedly) because the book is so much focused on good conduct and propriety. Even if you don't agree with Austen that this action or that attitude is the best, it's still a pleasure to enter into and consider what a thoughtful woman of her time thought these things looked like. Overall, on this read, I thought the book was much more about a family and family dynamics than about the romantic couples; the marriages and pairings are the tests that the children undergo in becoming adults. Anyhow, multilection continues to be one of my more brilliant discoveries, the end.
PS, just in case: this post was not sponsored or solicited in any way. Are you kidding me? No.