I’ve wanted to reread Pride and Prejudice since I saw it on Christina’s Goodreads list a couple weeks ago. Thus, I did what I always do and logged into the library website. I pulled up the catalog search and typed in “pride and prejudice.”
The first result? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This was followed by: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, Darcy and Elizabeth, Prom and Prejudice, Death Comes to Pemberly, Prada and Prejudice, Pride and Prescience: A Truth Universally Acknowledged, Austenland, Mr. And Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One (stop!!), Me and Mr. Darcy, A Wife for Mr. Darcy, Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits: Austen Takes the South Volume 1, Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, The Darcy Cousins, Mr. Darcy Goes Over: A Tale of Tide and Prejudice, A Darcy Christmas, Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister, Darcy’s Temptations, Pemberly Shades: A Lightly Gothic Tale of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. I wish I were making this up. You get the idea.
I didn’t find the original 1813 novel until the fifth page of results. Seriously? Now, I acknowledge that this is partly a problem with my library’s search algorithm, but it also pains me that there are so many spin-offs (of such questionable quality) of a great book.
The adventure didn’t end there. I put the book on hold and went to pick it up a few days later. The cover wasn’t one I was familiar with, but at this point I just wanted to get home and start reading it. When I turned the first page, I was surprised to discover that I had received the young reader edition. Yes, there is a young(ish) reader edition of Pride and Prejudice.
Things About the Young Reader Edition That Are Different From the Adult Reader Edition:
- Each and every page is bordered with what appears to be an image of the edge of a regency-era military waistcoat.
- Potentially unfamiliar words in the text are bolded and then defined at the bottom of the page.
- Every few chapters there is a little non-fiction chapter. Subjects include helpful tidbits about early nineteenth century life grouped into chapters like “Transportation in the Age of Jane Austen” and “English Balls at the Turn of the Century.”
- The type is very large.
I have tried my best to read this version, but am hampered by several things, not the least of which is that I keep getting distracted by the bolded words. (“Five thousand a year? I am pretty sure that is just what it sounds like and what I have assumed to be true of every other Austen novel I have ever read. Maybe I should look it up in case I have been mislead all along! Nope, just what I though. Now, where was I?”) The whole thing is sort of hilarious but also frustrating if one is trying to read!
I’m returning it to the library tomorrow and ordering my own darn copy from Amazon.