Monday, November 14, 2011

Window Shopping on Sunday

We've been having unseasonably warm temperatures in the Greater Toronto Area for over a week now.  The curtains were billowing in the breeze as we slept last night and the flannels simply have to go back in the cupboard.  Despite what the thermometer says Christmas is just a flip of the calendar away and the shops are full of festive swag.  And it's my favourite time of year for window shopping.  Everything pops with colour and the scent of cinnamon is everywhere from gift shops to coffee houses.

And the display tables at bookshops are being stacked with gorgeous coffee table books.  Stunning enough to make me an enthusiast on every subject.  Charles Dickens is everywhere at Christmas but even more so this year with his bicentenary just around the corner.  I had my first peek at Claire Tomalin's biography on the man himself, very nice.

The festive season's sparkle and shine came after a good scrounge around a second-hand bookshop though.  No doe-eyed dreamy browsing there, I was all business.  Since a certain cruel youth has decided not to return my library's lone copy of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, I bought my own.  The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton and Summer Will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner are NYRB editions and titles I've been coveting for some time so they went into my bag.  And last, but not least, R picked up a copy of Juliet Gardiner's The Blitz for me because he knew I liked it. 

Book shopping Sundays mean book guilt on Monday but somehow I think I'll get over it.  It was a lovely day.


  1. Good luck with Summer Will Show ... unanimously disliked by everyone in book group! I haven't read anything else by her as it put me off.
    I think I'm going to have to treat myself to Claire Tomalin, though - especially as am going to a talk by her soon. Now I think of it, a bit too soon to get it read in time!

  2. Love your photos of holiday displays. I am also excited for the Claire Tomalin biography of Dickens. Great time of the year to release this book. I will check my local book store and see if it is in yet.

  3. Oooh fab! I love holiday books displays - you can't feel guilty for too long. Very warm here too - dreading the arrival of snow and proper cold!

  4. Christmas is creeping up, when the weather is warm over here, it is rather strange.

    As for the books, well I am sure we have all done it and felt guilty and then go again and do the same a few days, weeks, months later.

  5. I love Christmas book displays! Even when they are not usually books I'd buy, just seeing them beautiful laid out makes me want them. I'm not actually a fan of Dickens' work but I'm quite excited to read Tomalin's biography of him.

  6. Lovely book choices Darlene. I've just finished the Tomalin biography & loved it, as I have everything else of hers. I haven't read the STW but I enjoyed the other novels of hers I've read. Woman in Black is also wonderful, very atmospheric. I love Juliet Gardiner's books but I'm ashamed to say I have her last two (Thirties & Blitz) on the tbr shelf & haven't got to them yet. Don't feel guilty, books are a joy forever & they're not fattening. You can even get some exercise rearranging your bookshelves to fit them all in! That's what I tell myself anyway...

  7. R is so thoughtful. Can I clone him? :) We've been having warmish weather, too. It snowed a couple of weeks ago. I never know whether to wear a sweater or short sleeves, but I won't complain about nice weather! I loved Slaves of Solitude by the way--you have a great new stack of books to choose from!

  8. mary, Ooh, that makes me even more interested now! Your book group wasn't slagging off the book while on their third glass of merlot or anything like that were they? I'll be sure to let you know how it goes once I get around to it.

    Sunday Taylor, I had to resist the urge not to rearrange the flowers and tidy up those stacks of books! That sort of behaviour can get you dirty looks from the management. Hope you enjoy the Dickens book once you find it!

    Verity, You have a driveway to shovel now so make sure you're prepared for stormy weather. I'm dreading the whole thing as well.

    Jo, And my husband is a supreme enabler *sigh*.

    thecaptivereader, Oh thank goodness for solidarity! These blogs are wonderful for helping you feel less like a greedy so-and-so. And on an unrelated note...I keep thinking of you out west with your fig tree, you lucky thing!

    lyn, That Thirties book tempts me every time I see it but my's massive! And thank you for your lovely words about buying books. You and my husband make two very lovely enablers.

    Danielle, could try! And is there anything more irritating then donning a warmish sweater to work only to find out the heat is on full? Talk about a long day!

  9. I have been avoiding Christmas shopping like the plague! I get paid on Friday though so I am going to start then.

    That man of yours should open a book shop - he's so good at finding those hidden gems!

  10. bookssnob, A good plan if you're going to get through your list before people start pushing and shoving and festive cheer turns to panic!

    Oh Rachel, this is a man who stubbornly refers to Persephone as "Persnickity". Who knows what people would be sent home with with him at the helm!