Friday 21 December 2007

Mission Impossible

What have I done?

It all started out so innocently. I was having lunch a week or so ago with my library cronies, Lucy and Clare, and the topic of my book-buying came up. These gals aren't foreigners to the world of book buying, believe me, but for some reason they thought I took the art to excess. And somehow, in the course of this conversation, I managed to agree to a bet that I wouldn't be able to abstain from book-buying throughout January. Once again, in bold, I will not buy any books in January. Goodness.

A couple exceptions. I can buy gifts; I can receive gifts. I just can't buy books for myself. For a whole month. Eek.

Yes, I do have something of a backlog to get through. But popping into a charity shop and buying a couple of 20p books - this is like oxygen to me. So will I manage a whole month? Will I forget and order something from Amazon? I'll let you know, and perhaps post a photograph of the monies I receive from/give to Lucy...

These are a couple I bought today, making the most of my last days as a book buyer. Tara talked about Chatterton Square by E. H. Young a while ago, and couldn't this Jonathan Cape publication. He also published Elizabeth Cambridge's
Hostages to Fortune originally, and since then I've been drawn to that entrancing typeface used on covers... never seen a dustjacket, though. Also had to buy the sequel to Three Men in a Boat, especially with that nice cover...

Oh, and I went carol singing with Paddy Ashdown for the second time this evening... that might mean nothing to non-UK/Irish readers.


  1. What an incredibly rash but very brave thing to agree to ... could never do it myself.

    Simon ... thank you for your top books list for each of the last few years. I am amazed by the titles ... having read only a very few of them. Merry Christmas from one vicarage/rectory to another. I very much enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Good luck with it - at least you're only doing January. My own resolution is not to buy any books until the end of March, to try and catch up with the to-read piles (plural), and also to see if I can train myself not to buy books like a teenager with nothing to do but read, when I'm a 28 year old with a job and a house of my own and far too many things to be done before reading time.

  3. How about borrowing books from a Public Library! I almost never buy any books these days (no room for one thing) and as a bonus I keep the libraries going for those folk who, unlike me, cannot afford to spend money on books but wish to benefit from reading them. Books borrowed are one of the indicators that local councils use when deciding which library to close next.

    Dark Puss

  4. Good luck with the non-book-buying ... how difficult.

    And can Paddy Ashdown sing? That's what I'd like to know ... .

    And Happy Christmas.

  5. Simon, good luck in January, it sounds like you'll need it. I like your copy of Chatterton Square and agree with you regarding the typeface.

  6. I daresay Santa might be delivering some book-shaped parcels which could stave off the hunger for a while?

  7. E.H.Young's books are so good but you'll have to wait until Feb. All mine are second hand. I think Virago did a couple. Have a Blessed Christmas Simon.

  8. I am also trying not to buy books at this point. I have about 60 books that I haven't read! I need to get through them before I add anymore.

  9. The typeface used on "Chatterton Square" is unusual (especially the R and U). The closest I could find is "Vogue" designed by Stephenson Blake in 1929, but the tail of the "Q" in that face dose not match and there are other points of difference too. Can you tell me the publisher, country and date of publication as I may be able to satisfy my curiosity if I can track down more information?

    by sending him books please!

  11. Love the look of Three Men on a Bummell which I think is even funnier than those guys in a boat.

  12. Still going strong, Simon?

    I failed miserably during January - but I'm going to try again during February. Shortest month of the year .... less pain and all that!


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