Never mind the quality, feel the width – doesn’t feel quite right for this tome!

Whilst I’m in the middle of getting this month’s volumes in two readalongs finished, (Stephen King’s Dark Tower books at Shelf Love and Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake at Farm Lane Books since you ask), I’ve a little poser for you today.

Let me introduce an old book to you…

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens. I do love the sub-title ‘A tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty’.

This edition isn’t dated – but a sticker on the inside cover tells me that my Mum bought it for 4/- in a secondhand book shop in Streatham, which places it as 1950s at latest, and it’s probably considerably older.

The binding is deep red leather with blocked gold on the spine and it has marbled-effect endpapers. It’s in the ‘Oxford India Paper Dickens’ series, and is complete with 76 illustrations.

Lastly, onto the dimensions of said tome, which are not large – 110 x 175 mm (just a tad smaller than a standard small paperback), and just 18mm thick including the covers.

So my question to you is … from the information above:

How many pages do you think this volume holds between its covers?

I’ll append the answer tomorrow!

… and here it is…

786 pages (including the illustrations, and all blanks and frontispieces etc), so you were all very close with your estimates!

What surprised me is that although that’s an awful lot of pages to cram into about 16mm, it’s nice quality.  Thin for sure, and you can just see the shadow of the text through the paper, but it’s by no means like tissue – being smooth and very white.

What I didn’t mention before, is that I haven’t actually read this book – but as this edition will take up half the shelf space of a modern paperback, I’ll probably hang on to this one!


8 thoughts on “Never mind the quality, feel the width – doesn’t feel quite right for this tome!

  1. Ummm…I’ve seen Barnaby Rudge in a shop once and it looked pretty doorstoppish. Yours also has 76 illustrations (each on their page, I guess?)… I’ll guess 798 pages.

  2. Okaaaaay. Ummm… Let me think….
    My Penguin copy is a ludicrous 768 pages. If this is slightly smaller than a QP paperback… I’m gonna say… 800(ish)??


  3. Absolutely no idea, Annabel, as Barnaby Rudge is yet another Dickens I have failed to read (this despite having a complete, and utterly beautiful set, inherited from my grandfather which I think were bought in the 1920’s). I do however have a couple of books which I think are from the same range as your mum’s book – one is Robinson Crusoe and the other is Walter Scott’s ‘Kenilworth’ – which from the pencilled date, my dad got in London in the 1940’s. Sadly I haven’t read those either!

  4. You’re all roughly in the right area. Each of the illustrations is on a single page with a blank behind …

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