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For #bookaday on the 8th June – I have more than one copy of… John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids and of The Chrysalids.
I bought a couple from second-hand bookstores and others are ex-library books weeded from the collection (but not by me). They range in original RRP from $3.95 (1981 reprint) to $8.99. There were a couple of good second-hand bookstores in Toowoomba where we bought comics and swapped series books. After I discovered literature (while reading for a literature degree at University oddly enough) I started trawling second-hand bookstores for all the must-read books that I had heard of but didn’t yet have in my collection. And why buy one when you can have two or three copies? I have no idea what was going through my mind. I bought the subsequent copies at different bookstores. I remember a tiny little gem of a place in Bellbowrie where I found Nancy Mitford and Wodehouse. We’d always check out a second-hand bookstore wherever we were – there wasn’t a good independent new bookstore in Toowoomba until Mary Ryan came along (if I remember correctly).
I first discovered the triffids by watching the television show with my Dad – possibly the 1981 BBC series. We loved it, and triffids became a family joke for years, particularly because we had an agave attenuata plant in the garden that lay dormant for years and then suddenly overnight sprouted an eight-foot high bloom spike that had us a little freaked out. And then I started collecting the books (even two of the same cover, but different reprints).
Wyndham apparently acknowledged the influence of HG Wells’ War of the Worlds on The Day of the Triffids. I also love WOTW, having discovered it through a re-broadcast of the radio play, and the album was THE late-night music at my college. My copy of that book, also ex-libris, was missing the final page. I’m not sure I’ve ever replaced it with an intact copy.
If you think Mondays are bad… When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere. (The Day of the Triffids, page 1).