11 May 2015
I know, I know...I'm off to London tomorrow, the mecca for book shopping, but it was an excellent weekend for finds. My favourite second-hand shops in Toronto is particularly popular with university students wanting to sell their books at term's end so BMV was heaving with required reading. English professors could very well weep with the knowledge their students were so quick to sell off titles meant to inspire but sometimes the pocketbook speaks even louder, I suppose.
I don't think any of the books we brought home were likely to have appeared on a syllabus but it was fun wading through the stuffed shelves. My scanning technique usually begins with looking at every single book until the titles begin to blur and then I switch to looking for publishers. There were loads of nyrb classics! The blurb by a New York Times reviewer on the back of Corrigan made me laugh out loud...'Domesticity for Miss Blackwood has never been cozy, she listens for the ticking of the time bomb in the teapot.' My preference is all about 'cosy' but this is an author I need to explore.
So many of you have been busy consuming Trollope, writing about Trollope, entering draws for books by Trollope, and generally celebrating the bicentenary of his birth, but my favourite Victorian author is George Gissing. You can download his work for free but reading that way is just not for me so I was thrilled to find a copy of In the Year of the Jubilee; it's rare on shelves around here. Anita Brookner's writing reminds me of another favourite author, Elizabeth Bowen. My library stocks quite a few of Brookner's works but when I want to start a new book at eight p.m. on a Sunday night...well, it's best to stock a few on my own shelves. And my love affair with Barbara Comyns' work continues. Fingers crossed, Charing Cross Road has a gem or two that I don't own stocked in one of its many fabulous bookshops.
My lovely husband bought a copy of A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson for me last Friday. I think it's a combination of feeling a bit sentimental because I'm going away and thrilled with the prospect of a bit of peace and quiet for days on end!
Luggage allowance and book lovers....well, it's never going to be an easy relationship. Knowing there are lots of lovely books waiting at home will ease my disappointment about books left behind. My B & B is a short stroll from Persephone Books and will be one of my first stops to pick up a copy of Mollie Panter-Downes' London War Notes. For a full report on how successful (or unsuccessful) 'Project Restraint' was and details about the walking book club I'm taking part in, watch this space in a couple of weeks! See you soon...