London with Coffee # 2

Book shopping, that is.

Book shopping, that is.

I realized while browsing in the Greek and Roman life room at the British Museum that my late mother would have enjoyed the tiny terracotta and bronze figures.  She collected ceramic figures and dolls, so how could she not like these “figurines?”  There were tiny figures of sacrificial animals–a ram (from Syria), a pig (near Rome), and a bull (I think it was Etruscan)–and figures of gods and even comic actors.  I loved a diminutive bronze figure of Mercury, a terracotta woman in a bath, and a bronze figure of a satyr playing double-pipes.

Perhaps they have some adorable Greek and Roman figurines at the museum store.  But these stores are always expensive, and you never like the stuff that much when you get home.  I have many souvenirs of the Chicago Art Institute, all tucked away out of sight.

On the way to the British Museum, the quest for coffee continued.  How could it not?  Starbucks, Costa, Nerro’s…  I’m on my Size Epic two.

It is beautiful here in London.  Though the spring is not far advanced, it is very green and there are some flowers. It is mild, in the 50s here, though at home it is still cold and windy–the wind never stops blowing on the prairie.

I sat outside the British Museum and soaked up the sun. I didn’t have a book in my bag, except a guidebook, so I decided to go to the LRB (er, London Review of Books) Bookshop. It is just south (or possibly east or west; God knows where I was) of the British Museum.

LRB bookshopNow I don’t read the LRB, because I already read the NYTBR, the NYRB, the TLS, and the WSJ (I made that last up:  I don’t read the WSJ), so I can’t really add anything else with initials at this time. But what a good bookstore this is! I considered a book of literary history, not usually my kind of thing, and several novels I’ve never heard of.  The whole Bailey’s Women’s Prize list seemed to be there, but I already have The Goldfinch, and must read that before adding more to my “queue.”   I was looking more for the obscure, for something I couldn’t get in the U.S.

Nothing hardback, I decided.

No problem.  Look at this haul:

IMG_2843I know, I know.  This is my whole budget for books.

Now I must get much more touristy tomorrow.  Seriously, you know how it is when you arrive:  it’s midnight, it’s only 7  at home, so you wait till 2 or 3 to go to bed, then you wake up early and turn off your alarm because you’ve only had a few hours’ sleep.

The secret:  coffee.  I’ve drunk so much coffee today.  Caffeine, caffeine!

Tomorrow:  must find really GOOD non-chain coffee in London. (I already drank all the Pickwick tea in my room.)

7 thoughts on “London with Coffee # 2

  1. It’s a beautiful bookshop – my first visit there was yesterday!! And what a lovely haul of books! Platonov is complex but wonderful – I hope you enjoy him!

  2. Karen, how funny that we were both there! I’ve read some of Platonov’s short stories and loved them. Aren’t these Vintage books attractive?

  3. Oh how pea-green I am — and so happy for you — that you went to the London Review of Books shop. The LRB is one of my long-standing subscriptions and I know the periodical publishes good books (as does the NYRB) and that they hold lectures in the store. I can understand how you could feel you blew your book budget.

  4. Uh, that should be love. I was so excited I didn’t proofread. And Ellen with a capital E. Unless that’s not really her name. I’m so embarrassed.

  5. Ellen, Cynthia, and Joel,

    The LRB bookshop is so wonderful! Such a find. I know you would all love it. Unfortunately, there are no talks at the shop till April. Oh well, there’s plenty to do anyway!

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