Recent Book Purchases

Books Again

I mentioned earlier that I only bought two books in Wigtown (Scotland’s book town – allegedly). I managed to get a lovely hardback copy of Dorothy Dunnett’s Scales of Gold, it’s one of her House of Niccolo books. I also bought a Virago, The Flint Anchor by Sylvia Townsend Warner in a shop called Byre Books which is hidden away behind some houses on the main street.

Jack had looked up an online list of secondhand bookshops in the UK. There was a shop listed in Gatehouse of Fleet, a very small town with not a lot in it, but a very wee shop on the High Street has a mixture of art and old books for sale. I managed (just) to stop myself from buying any of the art but I couldn’t resist buying three books.

Beth Chatto’s Garden Notebook. I don’t have any of her books but I used to read her articles and when we lived in Essex for a couple of years we were close to her garden, but I used to always just catch a glimpse of it from the bus to Colchester. She died just last week but she was a good old age, over 90.

Peeps at Many Lands is a series of travel books and I bought the Corsica book which was published in 1909. It was written by Ernest Young and illustrated by E.A. Norbury. Published by Adam and Charles Black. It has some nice colour illustrations.

I think the man in the bookshop thought that I just bought books with pretty pictures because the other book I bought there is The Englishman’s Castle by John Gloag with charming illustrations of various sorts of grand homes by Marjory Whittington. This was was published in 1944 and has that Book Production War Economy Standard logo on it. I have quite a lot of books published in wartime and I must say that although the paper was supposedly not the best quality they’ve all fared well over the years, much better than modern paperbacks anyway. They seem to begin to deteriorate after just ten years or so.

Incredibly there’s another bookshop in Gatehouse of Fleet although it’s a bit more difficult to find as it’s housed in part of an old mill by the edge of the River Fleet. It’s a lot bigger and has mainly old books, I don’t think there is much at all in the way of modern-ish paperbacks which suits me fine. I bought a book by J.I.M. Stewart called The Man Who Won the Pools. Also The Garden of Ignorance by Mrs. Marion Cran which was published in 1917 I believe.

The last one I bought there is called Recording Scotland, published by Oliver and Boyd in 1952 and has loads of lovely illustrations of places in Scotland by famous artists. Somewhere I bought a copy of Penelope Lively’s A Stitch in Time, one of her books she wrote for children.

On the way back home we drove along the Ayrshire coast and into Lanarkshire with the intention of visiting Garrion Bridge, an antiques centre that we hadn’t been to for years. To be honest there’s very little there that could be described as an antique but we did find some books there. So I came away with a couple by D.E. Stevensons – Five Windows and Sarah’s Cottage and also a couple of old but pristine orange Penguin books by the Bradford author Oliver Onions,Widdershins and The Story of Ragged Robin, but those ones are gifts for a friend who collects that author. We were so chuffed to find those ones.

I think you’ll agree that that was quite a haul.

13 thoughts on “Recent Book Purchases

  1. I think The Garden of Ignorance sounds interesting. I had to look it up to see what it was about. I recognized Corsica. As you know, I collected another travel series by A & C Black. I have several of Beth Chattos’ books. I just bought The Dry Garden, hoping I would get some ideas for a dry shade wall in front of our house.

    • Joan,
      It seems that Mrs Cran wrote a lot of gardening books and they are available as ebooks for free I think. You’ll surely get lots of ideas for plants for dry shade, Essex where she had her garden has very little rainfall – it’s officially a desert – so I’m told.

  2. I so enjoyed seeing so clearly each and every one of these books that you have adopted for your collection. How wonderful– It reminds me that Ken and I need to go about, and even far afield, to the great used and rare bookstores in the Northeast. We can travel this summer, being in between dogs.
    Still not recovered, unfortunately–hence my blog silence.
    But I have been reading–Muriel Spark’s wonderful Girls of Slender Means and finished today The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald, which I loved.
    Enjoy your gadabout trips all ’round!

    • Judith,
      I think that The Girls of Slender Means is my favourite Spark book, some of them aren’t nearly so good. I must try The Bookshop, I haven’t read anything by Penelope Fitzgerald for years.
      I’m so sorry that Sasha’s life was cut short so unexpectedly. It’ll take some time for you and Ken to get over it I’m sure, make the most of your footloose summer, and I hope you feel up to blogging again soon.

      • I’m so glad that you enjoyed Girls of Slender Means. It’s a most memorable read and so unusual and interesting in tone and point of view.
        I think, I do believe wholeheartedly 100 percent, that you would very much like Lively’s The Bookshop, based on my knowledge of your reading likes and dislikes. Would love to compare notes with you if you do decide to read it. It’s very short–only 123 pages.
        Thank you, thank you for your understanding about our Sasha. We’re doing better.

        Ken has me pegged for a journey with him to northeastern Massachusetts this coming weekend for a Golden Retriever Specialty dog show, with 57 Goldens entered. We are searching for Golden breeders now, but we have made a decision to wait at least 6 months before adopting another dog. We’ve allowed this breathing space many, many times in the past, and it’s a good thing. We need to totally let go of Sasha before accepting another dog into our arms. But we’re on the lookout!! I would love a Golden that I could work with and train to be a therapy dog. We could go to nursing homes, pediatric wards in hospitals, etc. I think that’s just about my speed and interest at this point.

        Hoping your garden is going well. Still waiting for Andy to recover. What a hard time with his hip! Wimbledon coming up.

        • Judith,
          I will read The Bookshop, when I can get a hold of a copy.

          I’ve never ‘braved’ another dog after the loss of my childhood family dog. The day after that was the only day my dad ever took off work, he just felt too bad to go in. I now just enjoy dogs from a distance! I think your idea of training up a dog to be a therapy dog is brilliant, they are very popular here in residential care homes and such.

          I fear that Andy never will get back to full strength, but fingers crossed that he does.

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