Posts Tagged ‘book shopping’


On Saturday, I went down to London with Liz to meet other Librarything/blogging friends for a little catch up and book buying fest. If there is one thing my little old house doesn’t need its books – but while book shops exist – I buy books.

I like a train journey, plenty of time for Liz and I to chat and read – it was lovely. I was reading an old green Virago Death Comes For the Archbishop – by Willa Cather which I have now finished – wonderful! Liz was reading A Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller.

On arrival in London we headed straight for Charing Cross Road, where Liz and I met Karen, Luci and Claire and enjoyed a marvellous lunch at Gaby’s a falafel place where I would definitely eat again.

There was time for a good old chat too at lunch, and as we marched purposefully between bookshops. Luci had gifted us all books – she always arrives with a bagful ready to find new homes, I snapped up a beautifully pristine green Virago called None Turn Back by Storm Jameson. It is the third in the trilogy which began with Company Parade – which I read a while ago – just need the second volume now.


We happily rooted through the shelves at Any Amount of Books and Henry Pordes on Charing Cross Road, two simply wonderful shops where I have found glorious treasures in the past. On Saturday, I bought one book in each.

Saraband by Eliot Bliss I found in Any Amount of Books, another greenie – which I didn’t know anything about but it is in superb condition, and looks really good. It is apparently similar to Frost in May – no bad thing. It is a coming of age story about a young girl who lives with her grandmother, develops a close friendship with her cousin Tim, and is sent to a convent school.

My next purchase came a couple of doors up at Henry Pordes.
The Orchid House by Phyllis Shand Allfrey. It is a novel set in the decline of the colonial era on a Caribbean Island.

We made a quick stop at the Oxfam bookshop – where I have found things in the past – but didn’t buy anything (shocking I know) Luci donated the rest of the books she had brought to give away. We hurried on to the London Review Bookshop, where I treated myself to a new hardback.

2016-11-20_20-00-28The World Gone Mad – the diaries of Astrid Lindgren 1939 – 1945. I think I have a strange fascination with war diaries and memoirs, and still have the Persephone edition of Mollie Panter Downes London War Notes to read.

We reached the Persephone shop just as it was getting dark, and perhaps Lamb’s Conduit Street is seen at its most atmospheric at such times. I bought six Persephone books, four as gifts so I can’t show a photograph of those – though two are for Liz’s Christmas present and one for her birthday in January – she has been instructed to forget.

The two I bought just for myself were:

Every Good Deed and other Stories by Dorothy Whipple – a new Whipple, I could not buy it – and I can’t wait to read it, I might save it for the Christmas holidays.
Long Live Great Bardfield; the autobiography of Tirzah Garwood, who I had to confess to knowing nothing about but it does look excellent.


It was a lovely day, rounded off by half an hour in a pub close to the Persephone shop – they didn’t have a machine to make my tea – so I had mulled wine- and my goodness it was nice. Liz and I then walked back to Euston where we caught our train home, having thoroughly enjoyed our busy, bookish day.

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I wonder what is the collective noun for a large group of Virago collectors on a mission?









Yesterday I went to London to meet up with some members of the Librarything Virago group – and to buy some books. We all know I have no need of more books – but what’s need ever had to do with it?

I took my friend Meg along with me – as I am hopeless at finding my way around London, luckily Meg is a book lover too, and so she fitted right in. Several members of the group I had met a few times before, including Simon from stuckinabook whose blog I am sure you all read, and it was great meeting up with them again. But it was even more exciting to meet up with people who I feel I know really well already but hadn’t met before, including Karen from Kaggsy’sbookishramblings, and Laura who many of you will remember used to blog at Laura’s Musings – and is over from Philadelphia for a week. There were a couple of other Librarything members who know Laura from other LT groups and so we made a pretty large group when we gathered in the café of Foyles yesterday morning.
foylesI resisted temptation in Foyles only my second ever visit there – I had a lovely cup of tea instead – I was saving my brand new book shopping for the Persephone shop at the end of the day. Oh but isn’t Foyles a wonderful shop? I wish it was here in Birmingham – though I might have to sell the house.


20140322_124850From Foyles 12 excited Librarythingers made our way down Charing Cross road to Henry Pordes and Any Amount of books – two shops I have been to before and had been looking forward to – I bought four books there. Two Willa Cather books, Death Comes for the Archbishop and The Professor’s House – for my continuing Cather kick, a beautiful VMC designer edition of Frenchman’s Creek, which I will read on my birthday as Daphne and I are birthday buddies, and The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West. henreypordes]



While in Any Amount of books we were joined by Luci – who always brings a bagful of lovely books with her to share out. Yesterday was no exception at lunchtime Luci’s books got passed around and I think most of them found new homes. anyamountbooks



pancakeWe then went for lunch – and a welcome sit down – we all wanted to examine our purchases too I think. Lunch was at My Old Dutch in Holborn. A Dutch pancake house – beautiful paper thin pancakes with a massive range of fillings spread on top – like a pizza – I had seafood – it was divine. Luci’s books got passed around as we waited for the food and I acquired three and happily pressed some on Meg. So thank you Luci for Dangerous Calm an edition of short stories I don’t have by my favourite woman writer, The Tortoise and the Hare and The Rehearsal.

After lunch we headed for the Oxfam bookshop in Bloomsbury – what a great shop it is – and I bought two lovely books, Jigsaw; an unsentimental education by Sybille Bedford, and The Village by Marghanita Laski, a lovely Persephone edition, with its bookmark! I have The Village already in a 1950’s hardback edition, but I had wanted the Persephone edition to go with it – it’s a fantastic book. We then headed to the London Review Bookshop – not a shop I have ever been to before – it is a beautiful shop and there were a lot of gorgeous temptations laid out before us. However I found a chair and sat down and resisted temptation as the books were all brand new full price – and I was conscious of having spent a little already. london review bookshop

persephoneshop1Then it was Persephone time. I just love that shop, three people had had to leave by this time so there were ten of us and we did rather fill the space of that lovely shop. I bought three (one of which is a birthday gift from Liz – though my birthday isn’t till May – does that mean I have to give it to her to wrap?) Bricks and Mortar, Tea with Mr Rochester and Tell it to a Stranger – the latter two short stories, I find I adore Persephone short stories. Those Persephone purchases brings my Persephone collection to 72 (I had been saying all day it was about 60 – seems I miscalculated) 11 of them unread on my tbr.persephoneshop2

While some people rushed off to catch trains etc. – six of us went across the road for a very welcome cup of tea. It was then time to head back to Euston for our train home, we decided to walk, and a lovely walk it was too, a bit cold and breezy but lovely bright blue skies above. Though as we crossed the road in front of Euston station just after 5 O’clock there came an almighty rumble of thunder – and we headed inside, probably just in time. I sat back on the train with a contented sigh, I was tired but it had been a lovely day filled with wonderful people, bookish loveliness and one amazing pancake.


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