A Book A Day #22 – Out of Print

The Growing Summer, Noel Streatfeild

The concept of ‘out of print’ has itself become obsolete in the age of internet and e-readers, which has a real impact on discoverability for new authors.  Even obscure classics are available for free in Kindle format and there has been a real upsurge recently in publishers such as Persephone books republishing ‘forgotten classics’.  As a child, I read all the Noel Streatfeild books I could find but this one remained elusive.  Then I heard the Radio 4 adaptation when I was ten and saved my pocket money so that I could order it.  I remember how excited I was having placed my order with Waterstone’s, I went back week after week to hear if it was in stock and then finally the book-seller had to admit – it was out of print.  So.  I have never read The Growing Summer although I do know the story.  I have even used Aunt Dymphna’s method of talking to unruly dogs to calm them.  I feel as though this is a book that I really loved – and yet, I have never read it.

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4 thoughts on “A Book A Day #22 – Out of Print

  1. I used to own a copy of Mio My Son by Astrid Lindgren, but I foolishly gave away a lot of my children's books when I stopped teaching and before I had a child myself. Now I want a copy to read to him, but am finding it's over $20 in paperback and over $120 in hardback. So sorry that I did that!

  2. That's so annoying! That's why I actually stopped giving away books – I'm sure it was psychological but I always wanted them back as soon as I'd given them away! Strangely – I managed to find a copy of Growing Summer on Amazon for £0.01 plus postage – very excited to finally get myself a copy!

  3. Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine series, as a fan of Arthur Ransome these were my next favourite in childhood. There are some available but the rest it's down to e-bay etc where they command quite high prices!

  4. I've actually not come across those … I was a big Arthur Ransome fan too as a child. I was in a vintage book shop in London a few months ago, just casually browsing, then I happened to pick up what I thought was just a second hand copy of The Picts and the Martyrs and lo and behold it was marked up for £300! I hastily put it back and fled!

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