Road Trip Book Purchases

April 2012 books

I recently gave in and bought a Kindle, I wasn’t at all sure I would like the experience of reading a whole book from a small screen. The thought of being able to get some books free was what swayed me really, especially out of print ones which can be difficult or expensive to get a hold of. I also wanted to cut down on my actual book purchases because they take up so much room and books are murder when you move house, loads of smallish boxes are the only way you can pack them really. I’ve made the mistake in the past of filling a medium sized box with books and then not been able to budge it because of the weight of them.

Anyway on our recent road trip I ended up bringing 18 books home with me, I just can’t go past a bookshop, especially a second-hand one, I have to go in, just in case there are some treasures within. The Alcester charity shop books were particularly good.

So this is what I bought.
Taken By The Hand – by O. Douglas
A Time of Gifts – by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Enough to Kill a Horse – by Elizabeth Ferrars
Tender is the Night – by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Anderby Wold – by Winifred Holtby
Kilvert’s Diary – by Francis Kilvert
We Were the Mulvaneys – by Joyce Carol Oates
The Last Chronicle of Fairacre – by Miss Read (3 books)
The Whiteoak Brothers – by Mazo de la Roche
He Knew He Was Right – by Anthony Trollope
The Duke’s Children by Anthony Trollope
Life at Blandings – by P.G. Wodehouse (3 books)
The Waves – by Virginia Woolf

and last but not least Marguerite Patten’s Every Day Cook Book – which is a replacement for the one which Jack bought me 37 years or so ago. My original copy has parted company with its cover, I must try to get it fixed though if only for sentimental reasons. A top tip is: If your chap buys you a cookery book it means he’s seriously struck on you and is planning on you looking after his stomach in the future. If you aren’t so enamoured of him – it’s time to skeedaddle!

During our trip to England Jack only bought –

Emperor – by Stephen Baxter
The View from Another Shore – (European Science Fiction) edited by Franz Rottensteiner
The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 23
Immortality – by Milan Kundera
Gentlemen of the Road – by Michael Chabon
The last two aren’t in the photo. Jack had put them in a separate place from the S.F.

I’ll probably read those two but I don’t think I’ll be reading any of his other ones although I do sometimes read S.F.

I could probably have got most of the books from my library too, except the Ferrars, Douglas and de la Roche. I even had the cheek to feel hard done by because I didn’t find any Angela Thirkell books on my travels, and bought one online when we got home. So my Kindle isn’t working in the way that I had hoped, I can’t get out of the book buying habit, whilst there are still bookshops around anyway!

18 thoughts on “Road Trip Book Purchases

  1. Oh Katrina! Actually I too have been persuaded that an e-reader is “a good thing”. I ordered one that was on a Groupon offer three weeks ago, £49 instead of £119. Trouble is it hasn’t arrived yet and I’ve had no reply from the company after emailing to ask about delivery time. The e-reader will never take over from my books though. I love going to second hand bookshops, and charity shops to browse too. I got a whole lot of Mary Stewarts in one recently.

    • Evee,
      I hope your e-reader turns up soon, that’s a wee bit of a worry! I’m only going to use it for freebies, I’ve only read one book on my Kindle and I did miss being able to look back easily, the way I would’ve done with a real book. BTW we had hoped to get to Peebles during the holidays but were too busy, feel free to use your bus pass to come here!

  2. What a great stack of books – with some of my favorite authors (Trollope, Wodehouse & Leigh Fermor – and Francis Kilvert, none of my book friends have read him). The thought of free ebooks sways me as well, when I think of all those out-of-print Georgian & Victorian authors. I can’t see reading new books on an e-reader, but if that’s the only way I can get older books, I’ll be glad to take it.

    • Lisa,
      I haven’t read Leigh Fermor yet but Kilvert’s Diary will be a re-read for me, I read it back in the 1970s when I worked in a library so I didn’t have my own copy. That’s exactly what I want the Kindle for – all those old books, now I just need the time to read them.

  3. Hi Katrina,
    excellent stack of books! Well done you! I fully understand what you’re going through and I would like to share my experience with Kindle: I’m still allowed to buy books on book festivals or bookshops while travelling, or if the book does not exist in eformat. For the rest, I buy them in eformat, and then if I really, really liked the book, I’ll buy it in paper (usually hard cover) format so that I’ll have it in my library…

    • Patty,
      That’s a good way of dealing with it. I’ve banned myself from buying books on numerous occasions but I always give in when I’m in new places. After all you might never be able to visit that bookshop or market stall again so you have to get the books while you can. Actually I’m kicking myself for not buying more, I did put one back on a shelf, I don’t know why I did – there are worse addictions to have!

  4. I’ve also found that having a Kindle hasn’t stopped me from buying books!

    That’s a good pile you have there, but the one that grabbed my attention immediately is Marguerite Patten’s Every Day Cook Book. I still have my copy from 42 years ago, but at that time I was working in Manchester Public Libraries and I had my copy rebound in strong red covers, so it still is held together well. But inside you can see how much I’ve used it – food spillage on some pages and ticks against the recipes I like. I still use it now.

    • Margaret,
      Wow – 42 years – there must have been loads of editions of that book published. I use it a lot too, in fact we had Steak Elizabetta tonight, which I’ve been doing for years. The great thing is that Marguerite Patten recipes have fairly few ingredients and are simple to do. Not much faffing about at all, I hate it when you look at some more modern recipes and there are about 30 ingredients.

  5. I’ve been getting used to reading on my Kindle. Most of the e-reading I do is on the treadmill or in the car.

    I’ve found I have to be careful with modern books as everyone who thinks they can write can self-publish an e-book, and there’s a lot of BAD writing available.

    What really convinced me of the value of the Kindle was the Father Brown mysteries by G.K. Chesterton (I got them for free!) and other out-of-prints (as you mentioned.)

    • Debbie,
      I’ve found the Kindle quite good for bedtime reading as it’s easier to hold than a book. Jack read out some excerpts from a self-published e-book recently, it was hilarious but was supposed to be serious. The woman was completely clueless and can’t even have read it over after she had written it otherwise she would have seen how daft it was.
      Have you had a look at the girlebook site – there are some quite interesting freebies on it.

  6. I am another kindle owner with a rather large pile of books recently bought!

    I simply cannot help myself, as my mum says I could be addicted to drugs or drink so books in the bigger picture are not necessarily an evil.

    I picked up some Blandings at the library at the weekend (not that there was any need for me to be in the library). I have not read these Wodehouse before only Jeeves so I wanted to give them a go.

    I also must pick up so Miss Read, just to relive that experience of her work. I think my mum might have some somewhere.

    Do let us know how you get on with the kindle. My view is that ereaders and real actual books, can live very happily together, they do in my flat anyway.

    • Jo,
      I agree with your mum, I’m always saying there are worse vices to have than buying books. It’s years since I’ve read anything by Wodehouse at all. I read some Miss Read books recently and I never thought that I would do that, they had a reputation for being twee years ago, but they’re quite entertaining.

      I’ve only read one book on my Kindle so far. I’ll write about the experience soon.

  7. I’m right wth you on P.G.Wodehouse, Miss Read and O.Douglas – “Taken By the Hand” is a sweet story. I love those authors’ ability with words, to have me writhing with laughter [PGW] or to ‘see’ the scenes described.

    • Valerie,
      I suppose a lot of people would view those types of books as easy or light reading but sometimes they just absolutely hit the spot, especially in these dire times. It’s nice to read the equivalent of a meringue or fairy cake, rather than always chewing your way through something tougher. Mind you O.Douglas in particular writes a lot of common sense and wisdom, I think.

  8. My recent Kindle purchase has led to exactly the kind of reading you describe. I download classics, either free or inexpensive. James Fenimore Cooper’s complete Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five early American novels, cost me one dollar.

    Looks like you found some treasures on this trip.

    • Fay,
      That sounds like a bargain to me. I haven’t heard of Leatherstocking Tales but I have his Deerslayer on my list of must reads. My copy is one of those lovely old Blackie and Son books, I think the cover was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

  9. I have the Mulvaney book too! Not read yet. I have 3 by her. You have given me another o. Douglas to look for. Haven’t heard of that yet. I would love toread Winifred holtby but she is very hard to find over here.

    • Peggy Ann,
      After I bought the Holtby I had a feeling I already have it in a different edition, but it’s one of those books with a lovely 1930s cover. I can’t check if I have the book until we move, whenever that may be, as it will have been packed away. I definitely have more than South Riding.

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