Other than a night out to see Danny Bhoy's comedy routine last weekend (which we quite enjoyed) it has been all work and very little play lately. So with the forecast calling for warm temperatures and sunny skies, R and I noted three second-hand bookshops we haven't been to yet and set off.
A few titles were on my 'look for' list but The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate was going to be my coup find of the day if I could spot a copy. It all began with an enthusiastic review by not only a blog friend but a reading enthusiast I hold in high esteem. When Rachel says drop what you're doing and get your hands on a certain book right this very minute I usually do. Well, there was this thing with Willa Cather that I tried to ignore but one of her novels landed in my mailbox anyway, courtesy of you-know-who. Book Snob is passionate about spreading the word when it comes to a good read let me tell you!
So R and I visited Re: Reading where I browsed but didn't buy, Balfour Books (above photo) where I bought a much-read copy of Jenny Wren by E. H. Young and Indifferent Heroes by Mary Hocking. This is the second in a trilogy but sounds so fantastic that I'm willing to spend the rest of my days in search of the first and third books in the series. The very astute owner noted my choices and pointed out The Other Elizabeth Taylor by Nicola Beauman to which I replied "Read it and loved it!". Next up was Ten Editions with impossibly high shelves stacked with so many books, mostly non-fiction, that it's going to be saved for another day. Less than a mile away was my go-to shop, BMV Books, and my last hope to find The Shooting Party.
Not only were several copies in stock but I found a pristine edition that had been reduced by almost half! They also had very reasonably priced copies of an Elizabeth Bowen I don't have and an L.P. Hartley which has been on my wishlist for ages. It's all about the hunt and delayed gratification, right? Then, lo and behold, I spied a copy of Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett which I'm quite sure is a first edition and priced at only $2. Thinking of Simon from StuckInABook I had to snap it up as he's a fan and would have cheered me on no doubt. I've never read anything by this author so I'm curious to discover the appeal.
Being more than pleased with my finds it was time to get out and enjoy the sunshine and buy my long-suffering husband and book search partner some lunch.