Have you ever had a big clear-out of books?

Have you ever regretted letting go of certain titles and acquired new copies?

I have! I had a big, big clear-out when I left London to come back to Cornwall. Never before had I been so ruthless with my books.

The books that come back, earlier this year, were by Anthony Powell: the twelve novels that make up A Dance to the Music of Time. I had read them and I told myself I’d probably never read them again. Out they went! But then Laura started a journey though the series, and I remembered just how wonderful it was. When the whole series turned up in mint condition on the Oxfam Shop. I couldn’t resist, and now they are living in a box in the attic, ready to be reread.

But that wasn’t the acquisition that inspired me to write.

I cleared out another series of books, and when they had gone I missed them terribly. There were five of them and I have picked them up, one by one, in charity shops and on ReadItSwapIt. The fifth arrived a couple of days ago, and so my quest is complete.

Sybil Marshall’s Swithinford novels evoke life in an East Anglian village quite wonderfully, and I am delighted that, one day, I shall be able to visit again.

But please tell me that I’m not the only person to have done this … cleared out books only to acquire them once more …