I said at the end of April that I needed to slow down my bookish acquisitions, and I succeded for a while. So much so that I didn’t issue my usual month-end update at the end of May.
I bought just five books that month.
Three were the result of a single visit to the Oxfam Shop:
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder came home because I remembered Lisa writing very warmly about the author, and because when I opened it I was imediately smitten.
Storm Ahead by Monica Edwards was on the same shelf, it had a lovely cover, and so I picked it up to keep the other book company. I know that the author is much loved, I know my books is part of a series, and I hope that someone will be able to tell me if I can start in the middle.
The Piano on the Left Bank by T E Carhart caught my eye too, and I remembered that someone once told me that it was their favourite book set in Paris.
I went looking for two other books:
Moths by Ouida is on my Classics Club list and I’d planned to read an Open Library copy, but the quality of the scan was poor and so I went looking for a reasonably priced used copy. And I found one.
When I read The Young Pretenders by Edith Henrietta Fowler I knew that I would have to look for her other books, and when I spotted as signed copy of The Professor’s Children I couldn’t resist.
I was pleased with that month: I cherry-picked the books I saw on my travels and I bought home only the ones that I really, really wanted.
I backslid a little in May, partly because I still had my birthday book tokens and I decided to spend them before I forgot them. That was sensible, but I forgot to put my decisive head on and I spent rather more than I intended.
The British Library Crime Classics were heavily discounted, and so I picked four to join to the three I already own. I didn’t mean to start another collection, but I think I might have.
I read The Plantagents by Dan Jones on holiday, I wanted to follow that up with The Hollow Crown, so that one came home.
The book that I shouldn’t have picked up was Peking Picnic by Ann Bridge. I already have the book in a Virago edition but I picked up that Daunt Books edition and I should have put it down again. But I didn’t.
That was a lapse, but I have been reasonably restrained.
I bought just three books online.
I’ve been waiting for Honno to reprint Betsy Cadwaladyr: A Balaclava Nurse and I a delighted that I have a copy now.
“Elizabeth Davis – known in Wales as Betsy Cadwaladyr – was a ladies’ maid from Meirionnydd who travelled the world and gained fame as a nurse during the Crimean War. She was a dynamic character who broke free of the restrictions placed on women in Victorian times to lead a life of adventure. Journeying to many exotic parts of the globe, she came into contact with international events in the horrors of the field hospital at Balaclava, where she served under Florence Nightingale.”
Leadon Hill by Richmal Crompton has been on my list for a while and I noticed that it had fallen off the Greyladies list of books in print, so I looked to find a reasonably priced copy and when I did I snapped it up.
I was intrigued by The Shelf by Phyllis Rose when I read about the book and the project behind it.
“Can you have an Extreme Adventure in a library? Phyllis Rose casts herself into the wilds of an Upper East Side lending library in an effort to do just that. Hoping to explore the real ground of literature, she reads her way through a somewhat randomly chosen shelf of fiction.”
When Simon enthused about the book I checked the library catalogue, and when I didn’t find the book I ordered a copy.
And that was very nearly it for the month.
I went to the Morrab Library summer fete this morning and I came away with three books.
Dark Quartet by Lynne Reid Banks – her novelisation of the Bronte story – is another book I remember being recommended.
I was delighted to find another book by Francis Brett Young I don’t have: The House Under Water looks very, very good.
And I looked at a whole line of books by Howard Spring and I couldn’t remember which ones I had. I picked out the ones that were nice editions, I looked at them closely, and the only one that I didn’t recognise was Winds of the Day. Sadly when I got home I discovered that I did have a copy, but the one I bought today is a much better copy.
I won’t be going anywhere else where there are books for sale before the end of the month.
And I think I’m beginning to get the hang of this ‘only buying books to build my personal library’ thing; and the ‘only buying books I really want to read’ thing.
Now, tell me how are you doing with book buying?