Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just a couple more books...

Book buying has been a bit of a theme over the last few weeks, and something of an obsession over the last few days. The blonde took me up to her ancestral home in the very lovely peak district, we basically trawled the local book and charity shops in the manner of women on a mission (which we were) and came home with roughly 10 books apiece. Long story (involving charity shops, amazon, Waterstones 3 for 2, some very kind publishers, and a few independents) short I’ve managed to acquire a slightly daunting 40 odd new books in the last month. Some of them are real doorstoppers as well.

Just to be clear (mum and dad) I can still pay the mortgage, Derbyshire seems to be the home of the book bargain and I haven’t actually been all that extravagant, quite extravagant, but manageably so, at least in terms of money spent. I think I might have been very extravagant indeed in terms of the sheer amount of text I can reasonably expect to read (The Count of Monte Christo – I’m looking at you...) before the next very exciting crop of books start whispering to me. But then there’s nothing new about that.

There are a couple of books I want to keep quiet about until I’ve read, and some I got because they caught my eye, or because they were too good to leave behind but know I won’t read for a long time (again ‘The Count of Monte Christo’), so I won’t exhaustively describe every book I’ve acquired right now (although it’s tempting, but I think I’m the only one that would find it really interesting). However there are a few I’m just too excited about not to share!

From amazon there’s John Wright’s ‘Hedgerow’ – I’ve been so excited about this book coming out, it really is my most looked forward to title of the year and it hasn’t disappointed me, (there will be more to come about this one). For reasons I can’t fathom it’s proved impossible to buy on the high street, but anticipation only made its eventual arrival more exciting and my reluctance to be parted with it in the last week has become a bit of a running joke with the blonde.

Also via amazon E F Benson’s ‘Mrs Ames’, again no sign of this in any actual bookshops which is a shame because it’s a terrific book, and Ali Smith’s ‘Girl Meets Boy’. These are both books that have been hovering on my wish list for a while and I’m very pleased to have them. I’m also very pleased to have Nancy Mitford’s ‘Highland Fling’ which I’ve patiently waited for Capuchin to publish since 2007, ordered from amazon but actually spotted in The Bakewell Bookshop. (This is a fantastic bookshop – easily one of the best I’ve ever found anywhere, ever!)

Oxford World Classics very kindly sent me Wilkie Collins ‘The Dead Secret’ and ‘Man and Wife’ – I’m really looking forward to these and wondering about the wisdom of drawing up a reading timetable in the manner of those revision timetables which I ignored at school. Hmmm. Some organisation is clearly called for, any suggestions?

Mildred Pierce’ and ‘In Tearing Haste’ came from Brierlow Bar (another excellent bookshop, this time the bargain sort) I love the film and the book was recommended to me here a couple of weeks ago. My brand spanking new copy was half the price a used amazon one threatened to be, so yet again I’m very happy with this. ‘In Tearing Haste’ is one of those books that I’ve fancied for a while and which became irresistible at £3.99. It seemed possible that it might just join the rest of my collection of unread Mitford letters, but I’ve been reading bits of it and I’m finding it compulsive.

I collect Virago modern classics in a mild way (as does the blonde). It’s not a really dedicated collection - I only get ones that specifically appeal, but I’m getting tantalisingly close to the 200 mark. Nice green copies are getting increasingly hard to find (I’m up to date with the new covers/titles) so there’s always the thrill of the hunt involved in hitting on something new, or something that either of us have been after for a while. Edith Bagnold’s ‘The Loved and Envied’ was new to me and Mae West’s ‘She Done Him Wrong’ is one I’ve wanted for ages...

So – I’m not planning on buying anything for a while, and I think I’ll be staying in a lot to catch up on some reading over the next few months anyway – which will take the sting out of the lousy weather. But should the sun shine I’ll be out complete with my ‘Hedgerow’ book on a foraging mission, though I know the squirrels have already beaten me to every hazelnut within the city limits.


  1. Wow, that is a serious pile, and very exciting too! I'd be on a mission if I was trawling through bookshops too :) I read The Count of Monte Cristo years ago and enjoyed it very much. I think I was on a Dumas craze then and read all the books in The Three Musketeers series too.

  2. OH. MY GOODNESS. This reminds me of when I could buy books... such lovely piles of goodies, and I think I've only read one - Let's Kill Uncle.

  3. I have to admire such dedication to book buying! There are few things that are as much fun as trawling through book and charity shops for new and exciting tomes. Hope you had fun!

  4. I've had a lot of fun, It's been a while since I've bought a large amount of books, but it felt like a good time to clear some things off my wishlist, and what with having some free time to fill what could be better than tramping the streets in search of cheap paperbacks?

  5. I am so envious of your wonderful piles of books - especially those lovely green Viragos!

  6. Wow, that's a serious pile of reading material you've got there.

    I spend most lunch times trawling round the charity shops looking for book bargains.

    It's getting to the stage where I am having to hide them to get them into the house past hubbie, who works from home.

    My TBR pile is a mountain, waiting for a serious avalanche to happen!!!

    Enjoy, there are many more serious vices than loving a good book.