I had planned a very luxurious (if sadly limited) spending moment when I was in London a couple of weeks ago but Waterstone’s let me down – they didn’t have the book I most wanted in all the world on that day, I couldn’t find more than two books on the three for two offers, and after that nothing would do, then it was time to catch the train.
Not prepared to remain thwarted in my book acquiring ambitions for long I spent some quality time on amazon and today all my books turned up, actually to be specific they turned up yesterday but spent the night languishing in the post office collection room until 7am this morning when I was waiting outside to pick them up. The post man in a coy mood left a note to say I had ‘a’ parcel, so picture my excitement when I found they meant four parcels held together by elastic bands, also picture me trying to fit all of these in a quite small bag whilst rushing for the bus and then hauling these things all the way to work where they had to stay locked up until lunch time before I could have a good look at the booty.
The best part of all of this was an unexpected package from Oxford University Press. I love the OUP for many reasons not the least of which is that I’ve got on their mailing list. Now I have no problem with soliciting a publisher for book favours; it gives me a terrific feeling of getting away with something when they send me a book (which I’m not given how long it takes to read, and then comment, but I like the feeling and don’t want to analyse it too much), but it really is like Christmas (only better) when something unexpected turns up. OUP books are beginning to warrant their own little corner – I think Oscar Wilde short stories, ‘Tarzan of the Apes’, and ‘The Private Memoires and Confessions of a Justified Sinner’ sit especially well together.
My amazon spree is responsible for John Cheever’s ‘The Wapshot Scandal’, Compton Mackenzie’s ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ (which sounds a lot funnier than the tv version) Isherwood’s ‘A Single Man’ (slim volume which makes it look very tempting) and A S Byatt’s ‘The Children’s Book’ (not slim, not sure when I’ll read it, but wanted it since last year and very glad they stuck with the same super attractive cover design) and Muriel Spark’s ‘Symposium’ (I can’t have enough Spark).
The other books in the pile arrived late last week courtesy of Bloomsbury and Birlinn respectively, I’ll be talking about them soon, and will also have details of my very first book give away (also courtesy of Birlinn) so shall stop now before I get ahead of myself. The other contents of my post box today were an invitation from the city’s most exclusive jeweller (a mystery why I’m on their list) and a flyer from the socialist trade union party. It’s a combination that appeals to me almost as much as Tarzan and the justified sinner.