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Full house

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a full house – all one hundred spots for the Penguin Postcard Project have been snapped up. Incredible! If you were hoping to join up, sorry for the bad news – but please do continue to leave your details here on the site, and follow the blog for updates. After all, in the event that not all reviews are returned first time round*, I might just need to call on my reserves…


It’s been a whirlwind week, with over a thousand views of the site here, and lots of positive feedback to boot (thank you, lovely commenty people). As you can see, I’ve been a busy little bee, buying stamps and envelopes and scrawling out addresses en masse. And the response has been global: UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, USA, Australia, NZ… The list goes on. It’s wonderful, and so encouraging, to see the passion is inspired by literature for so many around the world. Vive the literati!


The postcards will be sent on their merry little way soon – released and flying the nest for havens unknown. So keep an eye on your doormats and mailboxes. The allocation of postcards was entirely random, and I should probably warn you that there are a few… let’s call them… obscure ones in there. If that turns out to be yours, don’t despair! Why not embrace the opportunity of immersing yourself in something completely different? Even if that something is Aircraft Recognition… (Sorry!)

More to come in due course on the logistics of sourcing your book, which may or may not be out of print. Until then: please follow the blog, like our Facebook Page or follow us on what is currently a sparse wasteland of a Twitter page – but which will spring to life just as soon as people start noticing it… (It has a few morale issues.)

* This is in no way some sort of tacit permission for anyone not to return their review to me. That’s a legally binding contract you’ve entered into here… well, OK, not legally binding, but still jolly important. Up there with tax returns, world peace and trying not to laugh when someone trips over in front of you.

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This is your mission.

Most of us wish we’d read more classic books in our lives. Some of us still gamely plan to; who doesn’t aspire to improve their score on 100 Books To Read Before You Die? If you’re anything like me, you might even have blithely convinced yourself you have read x, or y, or z, until a flash of scenic clarity advises you that you’re thinking not of the book but of the BBC mini series / Disney adaptation / Clueless. And whichever way you look at it, that just doesn’t count.

(I honestly have read Emma. Promise.)

I opened this little gem on Christmas Day 2011. A hundred classic book jackets, each printed on nifty little postcards. Iconic designs that made me feel highbrow without so much as a sniff of an endpaper. Never mind two hundred of them.

A hundred postcards: that's an awful lot of stamps

It quickly became clear I would never find time or (shamefully) inclination to read all the books featured in Postcards from Penguin. Let’s be frank: I would probably never even find enough friends to send them all to.

And that’s where you come in, dear reader.

So here’s what to do:

  1. Fill in your details here.
  2. Wait.
  3. You’ll receive an envelope, inside which will be a postcard and a return address. A pretty Penguin book jacket will feature on your postcard.
  4. Buy and read your book. Ponder, learn, love or hate. Keep it forever, pass it on, donate it to Oxfam.
  5. Write a review on the postcard. Five words or 500, positive or negative. Serious or silly.
  6. Post back the postcard.
  7. Keep an eye out for your review right here.

Oh, and spread the word! All the sharing buttons you could ever wish for are below – please pass on the word and keep the momentum going. And join up to our shiny new Facebook page to follow our progress and keep up to date with the reviews submitted.

So jump on board. Happy reading and happy reviewing!

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