This has been a good week for me as it saw the arrival of the latest magazine from the Friends of the Chalet School. I love this magazine with its huge range of interesting articles written by club members. Reading it is like having the best kind of bookish conversation with friends.
This time though, I found myself reaching for the sales and wants section (where members can advertise books for sale – and, of course, those they want) before embarking on reading the magazine itself. That is not so usual for me and it got me thinking. Lockdown has obviously stopped all visits to the bookshop and although books can be bought online – for which I am very grateful right now – there is nothing quite so good as browsing in a real, bricks and mortar bookshop.
Part of that joy is of course the browsing among the shelves, not looking for anything in particular. Those unexpected, unlooked for finds of books I didn’t even know existed are for me even more exciting than finding a book I knew I wanted. That is something I find much harder on a website and is I think part of the reason I was so happy with my sales and wants list. You never know what you will find listed there and although most of the titles are familiar there is always something which tempts me into trying to secure it for my collection.
This then is how I will be spending my evening – with a large cup of tea and a highlighter to hand.
With the re-opening of shops this week, I have been called back in to work. I spent a long time thinking about the perfect book to take with me – it needed to be nice and cosy but not too gripping because I wanted to be able to leave it at work when I went home.
In the end I decided on Pat of Silver Bush. L M Montgomery is always the best comfort read for me and, although I remember thinking that Pat was very similar in character to me, I haven’t read it for quite some time. I hoped that would mean I would be drawn into the story and it would be a distraction if things got too stressful at work.
In fact, I have hardly read at all over the past few days. We are working shorter days which means we get less time for lunch and I only get through a few pages. Then when I get home I am completely drained and just want to collapse on the sofa in front of the television (I have been binge watching Miranda and it is just as wonderful as I remember).
Hopefully though I will settle back into work fairly quickly and I’ll soon be reading more again. I am very much looking forward to my day off and the extra hours of reading time that will bring!
I have posted before about my love of tiny bookshops and I have a new one to share today!
Last week I went to visit my Uncle and found this lovely little book shed outside a church. It was dark and we were too incompetent to be able to turn the light on but this is exactly why we have torches on our phones!
I spent a very happy time rummaging through the boxes and shelves – which were beautifully organised and far more user friendly than many I have seen. Of course, I couldn’t leave without actually buying a book so I bought three (because why not?) and marched happily along the road clutching them to me.
As I said, it was dark!
I was very pleased with my selection too – Mother Goose illustrated by Arthur Rackam, a copy of Dorothy L Sayers’ Unnatural Death to replace my falling apart copy and a signed(!) copy of Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson. I just read my first Atkinson – Transcription – and I loved it so I am very excited to have another to read!
Last Friday I went on a little excursion to Bath. Ostensibly this was to do a bit of Christmas shopping and look at pretty lights, with a quick stop off for a shoppers’ carol service in the Abbey. In reality I was mostly going so that I could visit Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.
Mr B’s has been one of my favourite bookshops for years. It is always a joy to browse the shelves, hidden a little away from the hustle and bustle of the streets. When they were crowdfunding to expand into next door I knew that I had to contribute something. Apart from anything else, it meant that I got a tote bag, a bookmark (always things I want) and best of all my name actually on the ceiling in the shop! Of course I had to make a trip to see that.
The ceiling isn’t quite finished yet but I could still see my name under the film – and in a lovely font too. This room is the Imaginarium where you can go to be a writer in residence for the day. It looks like such a fun thing to do – I would be sorely tempted, although I’m not sure blog writing counts!
Of course, I had to also have a proper nosy around the shop and I spent a good deal of time there dithering over my purchases. In the end I bought a copy of Maddy Alone by Pamela Brown which looks right up my street. It had the added bonus of being in the new, wonderful children’s room which I loved. It even has flaps to lift on the wall!
As usual, I had a great time and I can’t wair to visit again and see the finished ceiling.