Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – September the 4th

How quickly Bookshelf Travelling in Insame Times comes around. This meme was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but I’ve taken it over for the moment.

Topshelf Books

This week’s bookshelf is in a glass doored bookcase, another one from Jack’s parents and it’s situated in our living room. Click on it to enlarge the picture. It has a variety of books in it, some really old library discards from a library I used to work in, those are the natural history books, ancient but nicely illustrated so still useful. All of the books are worth reading. The World War 1 poet Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer are great reads and my copies are published by Folio Books, as is Crime Stories from the Strand. This is a compilation of short stories featuring Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Edgar Wallace, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Carter Dickson and several more crime writers.

The small read volume to the far right of the bookshelf is a Bradshaw’s Continental Railaway Guide, illustrated and complete with several maps. It cost all of 3/6 or 17 and a half pence in ‘new money’. It dates from the early 1900s and apart from the continental railway guides it also gives lots of information on the towns and villages in Europe – including Russia – that are worth visiting, what you can see and recommendations on where to stay. It also has lots of adverts for hotels, many of which are called The Grand Hotel. There are lots of adverts for shipping lines too. It might interest you to know that if you sailed from Liverpool to Boston first class it would cost you £12. Second class was £8 and 10 shillings. I found this lovely book when I was having a rake around in an antique/junk shop which just had a few books. When I asked the owner how much the book was she said – Just give me a couple of quid (pounds). She explained to me that so many copies of the book had been published it wasn’t worth any more than that. It felt like theft but I gave her the £2 and departed with my treasure. Michael Portillo’s TV series Great Continental Railway Journeys was already very popular at the time and as he uses these guides during his travels they’re become highly desirable, but I’m holding on to mine.

If you don’t know about the TV series you might want to have a look at the You Tube video below, you also might want to wear sunglasses as Portillo is known for his bright and clashing colours.

Will you be Bookshelf Travelling this week?

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are :

A Son of the Rock

8 thoughts on “Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – September the 4th

  1. The railway guide sounds like a real treasure!

    How fun that you have books on your shelves from a library where you used to work. That has to bring back special memories when you see them.

    • Carl,
      It is lovely to have those books, although I’m always surprised by the way books get around. Jack is reading a library discard now which came from a library in Alexandria and I thought he meant the town of that name in the west of Scotland but it is from Alexandria in Virginia.

        • Carl,
          I once found a copy of Three Men in a Boat in a secondhand bookshop and it had Jack’s grandfather’s name and address in it from when he was a student in Edinburgh over 100 years earlier, someone must have nicked it or borrowed it from him and not returned it. Of course I had to buy it although I already had exactly the same copy, I only picked it up to see how much they were charging for it! Mind you it had only travelled about 70 miles in all that time.

  2. Another shelf of lovely books. Green Shades by Elizabeth Jane Howard sounds interesting, as does the Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide.

    I am not Bookshelf Traveling this week, but will be returning to it next week.

    • tracybham,
      I had actually forgotten about Green Shades by Elizabeth Jane Howard and wondered why it wasn’t among her other books but close inspection shows it’s an anthology of plants, gardens and gardeners and has been selected and edited by her. I must get around to reading it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *