My parents have such a decent collection of charity shops in their vicinity that they are now reluctant to buy a book for more than 50p! So why oh why can I not find such bargains up north? Don’t get me wrong, we do have some nice little charity shops and some real gems of second hand bookshops in the local area (though you do have to search for them) but it would be nice to have at least one little charity shop with some super-bargains for the occasional smash and grab primark-style book shopping. I became very excited upon seeing a ’50p each or £1 for 3′ sign on a little shelf in the basement of one little local charity shop I had never noticed before yesterday but unfortunately, for the first time in months, there was literally nothing I would even consider reading. No obvious classics, not even any semi-trashy but reasonable looking chick-litty books by modern authors. Just Catherine Cookson and rather informative looking books on fishing. What a shame I don’t fish.
However, I really shouldn’t moan as I did dig out my first, yes first, Virago book from the shelves in Oxfam; The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty, which looks just my cup of tea. I had never really been aware of the Virago books until I began reading book blogs and I always now keep an eye out for those special little green spines. I love the ideas behind this publishing house and how it started out. As well as promoting women’s writing there are many authors I have never heard of and paying more attention to these works seems the perfect way to broaden my horizons a little.
In other book news, I managed to catch the first episode of the The Beauty of Books series on BBC 4; on ancient bibles. Although I certainly can’t enthuse about them quite as much as the ‘Medieval masterpieces’ shown in the second episode; mainly because I don’t know quite as much about the subject, anyone with a sense of history and a passion for art and the origin of the book cannot fail to be impressed by the Codex Sinaiticus; thought to be the oldest surviving complete copy of the new testament and perhaps even one of the earliest examples of a ‘book’ as know it.
We are also shown the magnificent illuminated bible at Winchester Cathedral, which even gives the later manuscripts a run for their money.
Watching television isn’t normally the most thrilling of activities for us, but I have to admit, bookish telly is receiving top marks at the moment as I managed to catch the third installment of Faulks on Fiction, which I intend to discuss once the series finishes next week.
I will also most likely reluctantly be finishing Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami this week. A surreal yet moving book that I have really enjoyed. I cannot wait to read the last few chapters….