The Inside Story: The Day of the Triffids

In this blog series, HPB Buy Guy Steve Leach takes a closer look at the unique curiosities that we see in our stores.


Some years back, HPB got the opportunity to make an offer on 100,000 books from the Penguin Publishing archives warehouse in Bristol, England. The huge shipment of acquired books certainly cramped our own warehouse in Dallas, TX.

triffid3

We received thousands of UK Penguin edition paperbacks, all priced in pounds and marked “Not for Sale in the U.S.” Quite a few were marked “File Copy” and contained editors’ notes. The Penguin Society, along with many other Brits, were initially not pleased by the news that this British treasure trove had headed across the ocean, but we assured the Penguin Society that they’d be given the opportunity to get back anything of historical interest they felt needed repatriation.

Along with the Penguins, Puffins and Pelicans were hardbacks and paperbacks issued by other publishers under the Penguin umbrella, many foreign. And that’s how we got a very unusual assortment: a cornucopia of versions of one novel by John Wyndham, with a variety of colorful covers and in many different languages. Take a look:

I will probably never be able to read De Triffids komen, but I do intend to read Wyndham’s classic in its original language someday. It’s on my list!

Want to check out more rare and collectible treasures? Visit your local Half Price Books or shop HPB.com.

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