Thursday, November 25, 2010

Something Old, Something New

So far I’ve confined my online book buying activities to amazon. I’m not really a fan of internet shopping, believing very strongly that money (on the rare occasions I have it) should be spent in ways which promote choice and help people keep jobs... But back in the real world choice on the high street is already severely limited and when times are tight price matters.

Cutting a long story short I’ve discovered the book depository, now obviously I’ve heard of it before nevertheless I’m brand loyal so I’ve always stuck with amazon, but things have changed thanks to Canongate Classics. Canongate in partnership with creative Scotland and the The Book Depository have released just over 100 titles from their back list. They’re available as e books or print on demand (As an aside am I the only one who’s a bit hazy about what print on demand means? Quality, presentation, time before available – it doesn’t half vary.) And until March they’re only available from the Book Depository who have a special little shop for them.

Anyway I’m guessing there are plenty of books printed without much demand as all the titles I looked at were available for dispatch within 24 hours. I’ve looked out for Canongate Classics for years – they do a fine line in Scottish literature from the really quite old to the early 20th century and I’ve found some great books through the imprint (and notice in an incidental sort of way looking through this current list that they share a few titles and authors with Virago).

The end result is that as an early birthday present to myself I ordered some books which turned up promptly and cheaply – which is the sort of thing I like and just generally I’m really quite excited by them. I got ‘Highland Lady In Ireland’ (I have the highland lady diaries already, though shamefully unread, but these diaries cover two minor obsessions of mine – what could be more tempting?) Book number two is Annette Hope’s ‘A Caledonian Feast’ (the widely acknowledged definitive history of Scottish cuisine no less) it’s hovered on the edge of my wish list for a while and now seemed like a good time. I also got Duncan Williamson’s ‘The King of the Lamp’ which is a collection of Scottish travellers’ tales. It was a bit of an impulse purchase and is either going to be a great find or something I’ll wonder why I bought for ever more.

Having a good old browse through the Canongate list has also made me look out the unread classics I already have with a definite view to reading in the nearish future, which in way that probably only makes sense in my own mind makes me feel like I’ve got far more than three new books. This promises to be the highlight of the week – which means I’ve had far worse weeks and that I’ll be going to bed happy tonight.


  1. I love the Canongate Classics. I have the HIghland Lady on my tbr shelves too! & I was also tempted by the Ireland diaries but so far I've resisted. I've bought a couple of Catherine Carswell's books but haven't got to them yet, also RLStevenson's & Margaret Oliphant's short stories.Lots of tempting books on their list.

  2. Ooh, I've had some of these from Canongate - they are absolute treats!

  3. Verity, It was reading about them on your blog that made me go and have a look, and then I lipped from the path of virtue and bought some...

    Lyn - looks like I might have to go back and investigate some more - I missed the Oliphant shorts.