Saturday, 1 May 2010

Bank holiday bookshopping

I can't resist sharing the finds that I made which cheered up an otherwise grey and sickly feeling Bank Holiday Saturday. The highlight was the book at the top of the pile - Plats du jour - which is one of the few Persephone books that I don't own, and the only one that I hadn't read of those that I didn't own (9 more to go for the complete set!). I couldn't believe it when I saw it for £3 in Oxfam! Also in Oxfam I picked up the rather lovely original green edition of An enchanted April which I already owned in the new edition (equally delightful so won't be parting with that). At £2.99 it was the greatest expense of the outing, but worth every penny as is in lovely condition. I then went on to a new bookshop which I've not visited before, called The Albion Beatnik Bookshop (I think) which had a wonderful mixture of new and second hand books - I avoided the new ones although it looked like an excellent selection, but spotted an original green Virago edition of Margaret Atwood's Surfacing for £2. I then went over the road to The last bookshop where everything is £2 and picked up the two hardbacks at the bottom of the pile, both of which I've read and liked enough to want to read again - and Can any mother help me? and Looking for Enid which is the slightly silly tale of a man's investigation into Blyton's life. On my way home, I called in at the Mind Charity shop, where I found an immaculate copy of Sylvia Townsend Warner's Summer will show - I haven't yet "done" Warner for my Virago venture. I was then tempted into getting Still glides the stream which is one of FLora Thompson's later follow ups to her Lark Rise Books - my father owns this in a hardback, but the Oxford paperback edition is equally wonderful and certainly one for my collection, as well as Beyond the glass by Antonia White. I already own her Frost in May quartet in the more modern editions, but as she is the first Virago author I think it would be nice to have a set of her in green, and as all of the Mind purchases were only £1.20, it didn't break the bank.

What have you been purchasing this Bank Holiday?


  1. What fabulous finds! I loved Can Any Mother Help Me? too. I had a couple of 25p finds in charity shops this afternoon - an old Penguin version of Henry Cecil's Sober as a Judge and an old Helen MacInnes thriller. I was pleased!

  2. Oh my goodness, you found an original VMC copy of The Enchanted April?!!! I covet that; I have the Josie Lawrence film-tie in green one (ew). I am also jealous of the green Surfacing as I have managed to find a couple of the Atwood VMCs in green and would love a full set.

    I have yet to come across a secondhand Persephone, except for one with you in Notting Hill, which we both already owned.

  3. I've never even heard of some of these books! Wow, you own nearly all of the Persephones? I only own 19.... I love receiving books from the shop itself, as they come with those lovely bookmarks.

    We don't celebrate Bank Holiday here, but recently I've bought the two new Persephones, the Virago version of The Tortoise and the Hare (Elizabeth Jenkins) and mrs Tim of the Regiment (DE Stevenson, author of one of my favorite Persephones, Miss Buncle's Book).

  4. Rambling fancy - the shops are a bit cheaper around you! I thought £1.20 is dirt cheap, which it is for Oxford!

    Claire - I will look out for one for you too :) It is lovely - I am starting to collect things in green where I already have them in later editions :s

    Katherine - I love the osound of your new books! Yes, I'm very excited that I only lack 9 of the 88 Persephones - one day I will get them all. Some of mine are seconds, damaged or without dust jackets, and only 32 have bookmarks...

  5. Stieg Larsson's 'The Girl Who Played with Fire' and 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe' by Flannie Flagg.

  6. You've dug up some wonderful reads there, Verity. Antonia White is an author I have yet to discover but would snap up a book by her if I spied one.

  7. What a lovely lot of finds! I've had to let go of lots of old editions of classics to charity shops because of moves abroad. I'm buying them back from charity and second hand book shops as well as more contemporary writers now that I'm back in the UK!
    Yesterday I bought Anne Tyler - A Patchwork Planet, Kazuo Ishiguro - When We Were Orphans, Maggie O'Farrell - After You'd Gone 99p each and from now on I shall be on the hunt for Persephone Books as well as buying new!

  8. Lucky you! I'm excited to read The Enchanted April, assuming I can get it at some library.

  9. Jennifer - glad you got some nice books too.

    Darlene - you would LOVE Frost in May. I often see it in shops so I will look out for a copy for you.

    Linda - I like the idea of buying back books. The three you've bought are all ones that I've enjoyed.

    Jenny - Enchanted Aprl is a wonderful book.

  10. Summer Will Show is one of the books I've bought this year, under Project24, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Looking For Enid - I really want to get this for a friend, but it had disappeared last time I checked The Last Bookshop. Was this the one on St. Aldate's or Walton St?


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