Saturday, September 5, 2009

Buying not Reading

This has been a week of job hunting (with occasional forays into second hand shops for some sneaky purchasing), rather than a week of reading. Certainly not a week of reading for pleasure at any rate. It started well with a visit to Uppingham which has two particularly good second hand book shops - Forest Books, and The Rutland Bookshop. The Rutland Bookshop is a thing of wonder. A tiny little building on 3 floors absolutely crammed with an amazing selection of books, some on subjects I couldn’t even have conceived of. They had a particularly fine selection of early 20th C hard backs – the sort with the especially decorative covers, and had I been feeling flush I would have bought armfuls of them.
As it was I had to leave empty handed, mainly because I had found a little treasure trove of Virago Modern Classics in Forest Books. I am now the proud owner of ‘A Model Childhood’ by Christa Wolf, Rose Macaulay’s ‘Told By An Idiot’, Catherine Carswell’s ‘Open The Door’, and Vita’s ‘All Passion Spent’, I also acquired an Alice Thomas Ellis, an auspicious start to any week you would think...and so it turned out as yesterday produced another satisfactory second hand hunt this time a little nearer to home. Yet more Virago (my collection is looking very respectable these days) including an Elizabeth Von Arnim I’ve been looking out for, so again – all good. My book hunting comrade came away with an even more impressive haul, fortunately mostly titles I already have or there might have been a very unseemly tussle in Age Concern. She is clearly a better person than I, as she made me a present of a Kate O’Brian, which by way of thanks I intend to read very soon.
Finally this morning bought the autumn edition of Slightly Foxed through the door. I can’t begin to express how much I love this name, or how much I wish I had thought of it, not just for the book connotation, but also for the allusion to slight drunkenness, what possible better title for a book loving Oenophile to write under? Some hours of happy browsing has led to a seriously expanded wish list on Amazon. Thank heaven it’s a quarterly and not a monthly publication.


  1. Ooo, I need to visit Uppingham, clearly.

  2. Lovely friend, do not be giving too many bookshops hints away..........! I have spent this evening scuttling around my house trying to locate errant VMCs , what have you started?
    I find myself empathising with your irriatation of last night.................

  3. I don't think we left very much behind us in Uppingham, although I did find the ticket for the book fair there next month...