I had to share my latest two book purchases with you – two books I have wanted for ages – I went in search and struck lucky.
Well I say lucky – neither book was that cheap – I paid rather more than I usually do for old books, and neither is in perfect condition. The dust-jackets are very fragile, though as one of them is over seventy years old, and the other only a decade younger, it is hardly surprising.
Love on the Supertax – Marghanita Laski (1944) – I first saw a review of this a few years ago, and had meant to go in search of a copy before. I have read all the Marghanita Laski books that have been re-issued by Persephone books so far, they are each so different, but the writing is wonderful and the characterisation spot on. The first Marghanita Laski I read was The Village, I found an old 1950s copy in excellent condition in the Castle bookshop in Hay on Wye while on a booky weekend with friends over ten years ago, I now have the Persephone edition too. I loved it and it is definitely overdue a re-read. This is a book I have huge confidence in – I just know I will love it – perhaps that confidence will be my undoing – we shall soon see.
The Indian Woman – Diana Gardner (1954) – Last year I read The Woman Novelist and other stories by Diana Gardner – it ended up on my books of the year list. Sadly, Diana Gardner wrote very little and her one published novel is hard to come by. I found two or three copies online all priced at around £20 – I hesitated for a week or so – as I couldn’t find anything about the book online, no reviews, no synopsis, I was nervous but I decided to take a chance. So, I have little confidence in this novel, I’m worried that if this book was any good it would be better known, someone, somewhere would have reviewed it, surely? Yet Gardner’s writing in that collection of stories is just sublime. We shall soon know, I can barely stand the suspense, I need to know if I have bought a dud, I shall start reading it tomorrow.
I’m pleased that each book has a tiny little inscription inside – the Laski – Xmas 1944 – sigh! I want to know who the people were.
I need some advice on fragile paper dust-jackets – I have a few books with similarly fragile jackets, am I better to carefully mend them with tape (I am not interested in potential value) do I need that magic tape – or is sellotape ok? Should I remove jackets (obviously when reading – but generally too) and put them somewhere safe – or leave them completely as they are.