Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baking and sorting

Week days off are a wonderful thing (I get one every other week so it's hardly a novelty but every time it makes me happy). I know that at the weekend I'll need to sit down and think about the days off I've got between now and Christmas (incorporating my birthday) and work out what I have to do when, so today has been especially sweet in that it's probably the last time for the next couple of months that won't be earmarked for a particular task.

It's mostly been spent on baking a first batch of little Christmas cakes, so my flat now smells wonderful and is pleasantly warm, and in trying to impose a bit of order on my books. I spent a long time on Monday night searching for my copy of  'The Anglo-Saxon World' (it proved quite elusive so obviously isn't something I spend a lot of time with) meanwhile I found Kate Greenaway's 'Mother Goose' nestled between Huysmans 'Parisian Sketches' and Hugh Trevor-Roper's 'The Last Days of Hitler'. I don't think she belongs there under any categorisation scheme so it was clearly time to do something about it.

The best thing about having a sort out is finding books I'd forgotten I owned. I came across another Zola which will be useful if (when) I embark on my Zola project. I have a guilty suspicion that I've had this book since I was meant to read it as part of a European history module in my second year at university, 20 years later it might finally get it's moment. Elizabeth Gaskell's 'Gothic Tales' is a seasonally appropriate discovery, I hadn't realised that I had so much Gaskell - she had somehow spread herself across half a dozen different shelves but is now all in one place. The same with Dickens. I've never thought of myself as a Dickens fan, I know I've only read a 2 of them but it turns out I've got quite a few to work through (on another shelf there are a lot of Christmas themed short stories as well), when and why did I buy so many? Conversely I have far less Walter Scott than I imagined, which if nothing else mean I can support a local bookshop next time I'm in the Borders.

I've also found a George Mackay Brown lurking in a dark corner which I would probably have ended up buying again soon, it was a souvenir from Orkney - I know this because the admission ticket to Highland Park distillery is inside it, but otherwise have no memory of it. The best discovery though is a slim little Maria Edgeworth called 'Letters for Literary Ladies' no idea what it's provenance is but it's by my bed now for further investigation. If only tidying was always so rewarding.


  1. I was avoiding settling down to work today and was browsing my shelves in search of diversion and came up with Arnold Bennet's Literary Taste and How to Form It which kept from work for more than an hour today and I'll be picking it up again once I finish my nightly blog round-up. Then I'll see if Amazon can help me find the Edgeworth as I'd hate not to have something ready to hand the next time I need to procrastinate.

  2. The Bennet sounds good and is new to me so I must go and look that up.

  3. *grin* Hurrah for hidden gems tucked away on your own shelves. I'm intrigued by the Edgeworth, I hadn't realised she wrote anything but novels.

  4. Nothing better than finding forgotten treasures :)