I Bought Too Many Books

I didn't really because any of you reading this blog post know that there is no such thing as too many books. However, some people in my life think I bought too many books. I view that as a challenge. Can I top my number of books purchased next time I am in the U.K.? Something to aim for.

I came across this quote in In Search of London by H. V. Morton. I liked the quote even though he went on to talk about how only men can be true book lovers. I think that is pure nonsense. This quote isn't nonsense though. It is just lovely.

The man who has never in his life become lost to all thoughts of time and food in the Charing Cross Road, and at the end of the day has not found himself hugging beneath his arm some book, or books, which he is proud and happy to possess, does not know one of the purest joys which London can afford. The road is a busy one. The traffic rushes one way to Oxford Street and the other to Trafalgar Square. The pavements are always filled with hurrying crowds, and with their backs to the world stand the bookmen, the book readers, the book hunters, the book tasters, the book maniacs-for books, lik drink can affect the brain-completely oblivious that they are not standing in an empty street. 

I bought a few Penguins. Who could resist? This display was in Skoob Books but the ones I bought came from several different shops including an Oxfam Bookshop where they were under a pound each and I bought them despite knowing absolutely nothing about the authors. Resistance was futile. I bought:

The World My Wilderness by Rose Macaulay
Summer Half by Angela Thirkell
The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley
Cards of Identity by Nigel Dennis
The English Miss by R. H. Mottram
The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot by Angus Wilson

The first three were deliberate choices and the last three were the impulse buys. But tell me, who could leave those last two titles on the shelf?

I bought three British Library Crime Classics. They were 3 for 2 so obviously I had to. I bought them at the British Library shop after wandering through their treasures room and gazing upon Jane Austen's writing desk. A good day. I bought:

Murder at the Manor:  Country House Mysteries 
Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert
Death in Captivity by Michael Gilbert

I went to the Persephone Bookshop which is always a joy and a pleasure. I spent ages trying to decide what to buy. The lovely lady working then was so friendly and gave me a few recommendations for other bookshops in the area. I bought The Second Persephone Book of Short Stories. 

I went in and out of so many lovely secondhand bookshops that I can't always remember what I bought in which shop. I love browsing through cluttered shops and looking for treasures. I found quite a few.

The Matchmaker by Stella Gibbons
Frequent Hearses by Edmund Crispin
Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon
Company Parade by Storm Jameson
The Loved and Envied by Enid Bagnold
The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
A Country Parson: James Woodforde's Diary 1759-1802

Most of my book purchases were from secondhand shops. As I mentioned, I love rummaging around in them and besides, I just could not afford to buy so many books brand new. However, I do love Waterstones and Foyles and I did buy a book in each. I bought:

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane
Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes:  The Story of Women in the 1950s by Virginia Nicholson

I did buy one other book. I found a secondhand copy of a Persephone book for next to nothing. It is A House in the Country by Jocelyn Playfair. It even has the matching bookmark. If anyone would like to have it comment or send me an email and I will be happy to mail it to you. The Persephone joy should be shared.

I sit at home surrounded by my books and wishing I was back in the U.K. I would be happy to spend another day or three or four wandering through book shops and having tea and cake. One day I will return.


  1. You’ll never regret buying a Thirkell 😍

    1. You are right. Plus, it is a Penguin edition which makes me happy.

  2. What a great haul. Jack and I really should go to London, when things get back to normal.

    1. It is nice to see a comment from you. Blogger must be cooperating for the time being! You should go to London. So many bookstores!

  3. Wow, that's a very impressive haul! I'm particularly intrigued by The English Miss. I've not heard of it before but that title alone is irresistible.

    1. That is how I felt. I couldn't leave a book with that title behind.