Tuesday 14 December 2010

That's All, Folks.

No, I'm not giving up blogging - although wouldn't it be fun to pretend to, just to get the messages of praise? (Or, alternatively, a terrifying silence!)

No - we have come to an end, but it is not the end of my blogging fun - it is the end of Project 24. In fact, it came to an end back on the 2nd December, and it has taken me a while to take photos and alert you to my final purchases of 2010.

I suspected, when I went to London to meet up with some friends from an email book discussion group, that I might well buy one or two or maybe three books. It seemed a fitting way to end Project 24 - by buying books in the company of friends who have never discouraged book buying; always supported the need to own duplicates of favourite titles (I can feel DP's hackles raise at that 'need'!); bombard me daily with recommendations, etc. etc. Quite a few of the group had to cancel, because it was the day of snow and ice and trains being cancelled left, right, and centre - but five managed to make it, and not one of them stopped me buying these books.

First two were found at a nearby Oxfam - the first two volumes of Katherine Mansfield's letters. I've hankered after these, but they're so expensive online. If I wanted them new from Amazon, they'd be £76 each - and even secondhand I'd be looking about £15-£30. In Oxfam I found them for only £4 each! And for those who will point out that I'm swiping money from a charity, I *did* volunteer at Oxfam for a couple of years once... so we're probably even.

Of course, now I want the other three volumes... but it wasn't one of those which rounded off Project 24.

Instead, in the incredibly well-stocked bookshop Slightly Foxed, a must-visit shop for any bibliophile and my first time there - I bought Mrs. Christopher by Elizabeth Myers. My favourite read from 2006 was the letters of Elizabeth Myers, picked up by chance at Sherbourne's book fair. Since then I've only read one of her novels, and would be interested to read more, but that's not the main reason I chose this novel. What sealed the deal was the fact that this is, in librarian terminology, an 'association copy'...

In case you can't read that, it says 'With love, to Nora Nicholson from Elizabeth and Littleton Powys, who are most grateful to her for her splendid efforts to turn the novel into a play. May the Lord be with her. Oct. 1949'.

I must write properly about Myers' letters someday - they reveal a beautiful-hearted woman who died far too soon, and it is a joy to have this connection with her. A fitting and lovely way to end Project 24.


  1. Oh Simon! You gave me a little panic then! What a lovely way to end Project 24, and well done for lasting so long and choosing such (dare I say) eccentric and interesting choices. I look forward to hearing more about them in due course!

  2. Good for you! Are you going to repeat the project next year and give yourself one extra? You've really had me thinking about my buying habits all year because of your project 24. I was considering going with my own age (which wouldn't drastically reduce the excess) and then I realized 24 would still be 2 a month. Still pondering on my final goal for next year, but bottom line, you have definitely been an inspiration!

  3. Well done Simon! My hackles are not raised, as I can't really question your needs!

    I know there are still a couple of weeks to go but I think I can safely say that my Project Zero goal will be achieved too.

  4. I am so impressed that you managed to do that...especially after my trip to Notting Hill where I came home with as many books as I took (yet still in profit!). Look forward to seeing what you do next year (go wild on Jan 1st?!)

  5. Rachel - I suppose they are quite eccentric! I must write a post looking at all the books I chose. But I certainly won't be doing it again next year...

    Susan - I'm afraid it hasn't taught me parsimony, so I shall be splurging... I look forward to seeing what target you set, though, and wish you well! It does make you think a lot more about what is being bought.

    Peter - are you planning on repeating 'Project Zero'?

    Verity - Notting Hill bookshop is one of the places I'll be visiting asap in January! Not sure I have any to sell...


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