So, I quite like Tumblr, but I’m not sure I’ve really figured it out. I have my own Tumblr, and I enjoy viewing, reading and re-blogging interesting things, but I only follow a few people because I have a hard enough time keeping up as it is, and I have even fewer followers of my own.
One thing that drew me to Tumblr was the potential for picture blogging, and thus I had the idea of sharing some of my favourite cover art, from my own collection. This seemed like a great idea, as I enjoy collecting books with interesting cover art – often solely because of said cover art – and I even had what I thought was a catchy name for my concept: Triptych Tuesday.
Of course, there were a few problems. Aside from the fact that only medieval art nerds will know what a triptych even is, I could at least have made the effort to take prettier pictures. I did want them to be pictures of my actual books, rather than just images off the internet, but the results are hardly spectacular.
The other main problem was, of course, eventually running out of trios of books! As common as trilogies are in fantasy, I have quite a few other formations, from standalones to sextets , so I couldn’t even share all my favourite books, just the ones in sets of three, that I owned, that matched and had interesting enough art…(ok, so I did post the sextet as two triptychs!)
But I did take a few, so I reckon I’ll share a trio of my favourites with you, and you can check out the Tumblr hashtag later.
Eric Van Lustbader’s Sunset Warrior Trilogy
Perfect example, as this is a series I picked up on the strength of the middle cover, and ended up really enjoying. I also spent years trying to complete the original set, which I finally did popping into a secondhand shop in Lyme Regis. This set is a different edition with the same illustrations (larger and zoomed in) that I found in the meantime. They make a better picture, but the others are cooler because the pictures wrap around.
Mark T Barnes Echoes of Empire Trilogy
Another lesser-known series that I am so proud to own, largely because I read them all as ebooks and hadn’t ever seen in print. Then the author tweeted a competition, and I actually won (I never win), and it made my day. They now have pride of place on my bookshelf, and you have to admit that cover art deserves to be on a physical book.
E R Eddison Mezentian Trilogy
I had this trilogy complete for years, but while I’d found an old copy of the middle book, it had not been the same evocative, garish edition (which is why my original Triptych Tuesday post inserted Worm Ouroboros instead). But then, just over a week ago, I found the matching middle book in the Oxfam shop on St Giles (Oxford), and that serendipitous event prompted this whole retrospective.
Somewhat sadly, I don’t have many trilogies with gaps left, which makes my visits to charity shops just that little bit less exciting. Collecting books isn’t just about books to read – I have more than enough of those, and so, if it were, I’d have no need to even go in. No, it’s also about books as objects – compact, brilliant, musty-smelling, all-round works of art.
I could (and may yet) continue with some of my other, newer trilogies, but new books don’t always have the same allure for me. Sometimes, yes, the cover art can be spectacular, but Triptych Tuesday was also about the thrill of collecting, the sense of achievement at completing a set, that I must share with philatelists, twitchers and other anoraks.
But I know I’m not alone, as a recent post by Marc Aplin (of Fantasy Faction) shows.