To cash in / celebrate its 70th birthday this month, Penguin have published 70 slim titles. The range is eclectic; short stories, essays, travel writing, Borges! Um, Nick Hornby. They are cheap at ‘1.50 each, although I was expecting a cover price in line with its age (the Penguin 60’s were 60 pence each).

I’m indebted to the Penguin 60’s for another reason. I was a 20 a day smoker when they were published. I weaned myself off tobacco by keeping these little books in the back pocket of my jeans or slipped inside a coat pocket. Every time I felt the craving of a cigarette, (at a bus stop, in a coffee shop, erm after sex) I would whip out one of these titles and substitute fiction for nicotine. I wore them like a patch and was free of Marlboro in a fortnight. I was also in a position to converse freely about great works of literature having read the opening chapters to many of them.

More info here.