Bookishness Out of Control

Bookishness out of control!

Bookishness out of control!

I declared an embargo on book-buying after I inadvertently joined the Folio Society.

Was I  hypnotized by an article in The Guardian about the new complete edition of Anthony Trollope’s The Duke’s Children?   (Memo to self:  Stop reading book pages.)

I am a mad Trollope fan and so I ordered the book.

I prefer paperbacks, but who knows whether this will  appear in a Penguin?

And so I’ll buy no more books this year, or possibly ever.

I will never go into a bookstore again.

I will read only books from my own shelves.

I will only buy books from the Planned Parenthood Book Sale.

Do I sound like a Cathy Guisewite cartoon?

I have been pretty good lately.

But today…well… something happened

Everything at Half Price Books was 40% off.

People love their Half Price Books.  It is a chain, but it does have some wonderful books.  I almost bought a nice hardcover Penguin of Evelyn Waugh’s A Little Learning, but realized I didn’t particularly want to read his autobiography.

But I did buy a couple of books.

First, Francine Lewis’s Polly French and the Surprising Stranger,

IMG_3042I couldn’t resist this vintage kitsch,  one of those Whitman books we used to buy  at the grocery store for 59 cents.  (Trixie Belden, Little Women, Heidi…all introduced to me by Whitman editions.)  Francine Lewis was a pseudonym for Helen Wells, who wrote the first Cherry Ames books.Polly is the vice-president of the G.O., whatever that may be, and the visiting stranger is an exchange student named Lita.  Is this a mystery?  I’ll find out.

My replacement edition of Ibsen.

My replacement edition of Ibsen.

My Ibsen fell apart (it was a frail paperback from my Drama in Western Culture class of many years ago). I have been wanting to reread The Doll’s House.

And then I got home and there were two Rumer Godden books from Amazon (I only paid a penny plus postage:  $3.99 each!).

A friend recommended Godden’s The Peacock Spring.

Another book makes its way on to the porch (ignore the cats' scratched-up couch, etc.)

Another book makes its way onto the porch.

Here’s the descriptions:

“Una and her younger sister Hal have been abruptly summoned to live in New Delhi by their diplomat father Sir Edward Gwithiam. From the first meeting with their new tutor and companion, the beautiful Eurasian Alix Lamont, Una senses a hidden motive to their presence. But through the pain of the months to come, the poetry and logic of India do not leave Una untouched. And it begins with the feather, a promise of something genuine and precious . . .”

IMG_3058Godden’s A Breath of Air is a retelling of The Tempest.

Goodreads reviewers are very tough on this one, but who knows?

And so quite a satisfying bookish day.

And now I will never buy another book again…

12 thoughts on “Bookishness Out of Control

  1. Suuuuuuure you won’t! Incidentally, today I have announced my retirement (in two months’ time). I read novels for a movie studio, but now I will be able to attack my own To Be Read pile, which stretches THOUSANDS of books high! So, there is a motive for buying more books, you see….


    • Congrats on your retirement! It sounds ideal to read for a living, but I am sure it is much nicer to read your own books, Something about required reading… I’m sure I’ll never stop buying books. I really am shocked I bought that Trollope, though I’m sure I’ll love it!


  2. Yeah, I believe you – not! We bookish types are always making resolutions and breaking them – but that’s the fun of it, isn’t it? And it’s not as if you spent an awful lot on the local books…. 🙂


      • I had dinner this week with a friend who lives in DC. He’s retired and declared a moratorium five years ago on buying books. He wouldn’t even take a book from me. He has stuck to it! I can’t get over it. How disciplined he must be.

        We had the G.O. in NY when I was in school. General Organization. We gave the school a nominal amount and we got a button. That’s all I recall. My husband remembers that he got into Madison Square Garden for a reduced fee with his G.O card. I guess he got a card.


        • Your friend will have to be my role model!

          Oh, thanks for letting me know what the G.O. is. I loved buttons and would certainly have wanted one. Actually, this Polly French book is quite well-written and entertaining. BAck in 1956, some of these series writers did good work. (Apparently it was AFTER 1956 that Nancy Drews were rewritten and cut. I read them in the ’60s, but don’t know if my yellow editions were the originals or the revised.)


  3. Think of all the things you don’t spend money on. You don’t buy those $500 shoes that look like foot torture devices. You don’t go to nightclubs. You don’t shop at Tiffany for your jewelry. Some women aren’t happy unless they have closets full of clothes (only some of which they wear). I am only happy when I have shelves full of books (only some of which I have read yet). So let the joy flow.


    • You’re right: I do very much enjoy my books and it’s true that I don’t buy high heels (how do people walk in those?) or or go to night clubs. (Barbie did all that! I’m surprised I didn’t have a Barbie night club, because I actually did have a Barbie fashion shoppe, dream house, and sports car.) Books are our thing…


    • You took the words right out of my mouth. I’d rather spend money on books than on most anything except plays and travel. I shop for my clothes at thrift shops and only get a haircut when I absolutely must.


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