Saturday, July 18, 2009

Trip to Toronto

As a small reprieve from my daily routine I took myself off to Toronto by train yesterday. The weather lately has been decidedly unseasonal and rain was in the forecast. A perfect day for the creaky floors, chamber music and lamp light at Nicholas Hoare, bookshop extraordinaire. I must have browsed for over an hour, looking at every single title on offer. I carefully removed a couple of gorgeous coffee table books from their nesting place to have a closer look. One was on the architecture of English homes that should really be sold with a drool protector as it was so decadent. The price tag on that one was $120, ouch. Dovegreyreader recently wrote about Lived in London: Blue Plaques and the Stories Behind Them which I also flipped through, she wasn't kidding when she said it was quite heavy. It must weigh around 8 pounds! There was a couple of Angela Thirkell books on the top shelf so I had to trouble an assistant to climb one of those ladders that slide along the brass rail. I wanted to climb it myself but they might frown on that sort of thing. The books turned out to be part of a series and they weren't the first two so they stayed behind. In the end, I went home with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as I didn't have my own copy and it was my favourite read of 2008. Also, a couple of days ago I purchased Stratton's War by Laura Wilson, her writing lately has been described as very Foyle's War so I'm hoping that's an accurate description. I wrote to Kristina yesterday that going to a bookshop for me was more relaxing than any spa treatment, a spa for the soul I think. Then there was that guy on his cell phone for most of my train ride home...never mind.


  1. "a spa for the soul" - I love it!! Sounds like a wonderful day...

  2. Just the three ways you described Nicholas Hoare made me want to be there in an instant. I have The Guernsey book on my tbr stack and I am glad to see you liked it so much. I gave my mom a copy for her birthday and she started telling me about the part she was on. She didn't realize I hadn't read it yet, so she is banned from talking about it with me until I can get to it. But she is running into other people who have read it, so she has an outlet. I second your feelings about the bookstore as spa...if I had to choose, I would always go for a day roaming among the stacks.

  3. Book Psmith, You would love it! They have lamps, lampshades and all, at their desks. No clinical check-out cash registers for them either. You chose a great book to give as a gift, I'm sure she loves it.

    JoAnn, The day got even better. When R got home from work he suggested that he would let me buy him a coffee if I wanted to go to our local bookshop for a browse around. Two in one day!

  4. My mum just finished reading a book by Angela Thirkell. Neither one of us had heard of her before. She's promised to save it for me!

    Were you tempted to take a ride on one of the ladders? That would be so tempting--and a perfect dare!

    K x

  5. Angela Thirkell is great fun, but I think she is largely forgotten except in 2nd hand bookstores.

    I've just got a copy of Guernsey and am looking forward to reading it this summer :)

    Glad you had a nice weekend. Have you read the magazine yet?!

  6. Kristina, On a dare I would be up there in a shot, you can always plead ignorance later;)

    Verity, Books Quarterly is fantastic! I said to R that I wish Chapters put out a publication like that. The Archers Cookbook is one that I can't wait to hear more about and those stars Verity, are they picks for you or the library?

  7. Stars were picks for me...

    Unfortunately we've run out of space for anymore "recreational" reading :(