Travels in London: Bookstores!

Scooped up in London!

Scooped up in London!

Yes, I’ve been in London!  What a magnificent city!

And I have acquired a book or two.

I travel light, but not light enough.  I brought an unnecessary sweatshirt and light sweater.  It has been so warm here.  You don’t really need a coat.  I am going to leave behind a garment  or two so I can fit more books in my luggage.  I  mailed most of  my  books home, as suggested by a blogger, but I kept a few here:  you never know when you might want to read Stevie Smith’s “Over the Frontier” or H. E. Bates’ “Colonel Julian and Other Stories.”

We have also done tourist things.   I highly recommend the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art.  To quote the brochure:

Weiwei is one of China’s most recognisable and contentious artists, as famous for his outspoken criticism of the government of his native country as for his art.

There is an incredible forest of dead trees in the courtyard, which Weiwei  and his artisans chopped up and reassembled.  That is actually my favorite part of the exhibit, and this “sculpture” is free.  Just pop in–and then you’ll pay to see the rest.

Ai Weiwei's

Ai Weiwei’s “Trees”

The used bookstores are astonishing.  Skoob, Oxfam, Henry Pordes, and many whose names I don’t know.  (Sorry, some of the receipts are primitIve. )What exactly I bought I will write later.  I’m tapping this out on a tablet.  How people do it I cannot imagine.  Don’t they write novels on cell phones?

I have found Viragos, Persephones, old Penguins, and more. I am trying to buy only books not available in the U. S.  Has anyone read Plilip Oakes’ “Exactly What We Want”? It is comical, the story of a reporter for a news agency.  I am chortling over his cynicism, and can picture his seedy digs.  It’s set in London.  Have never heard of this author.

The most useful book? Julian Barnes on art.  After reading the chapter on Vuillard, I rushed out to see some.  Alas, I had to mail the book home, because it was too big for the suitcase.

I’ve resisted buying souvennirs.

More later. Typing with one finger is not my thing.

8 thoughts on “Travels in London: Bookstores!

  1. Glad you had a marvellous trip, Kat, and look forward to hearing more about it and the books! Was the Oxfam you visited the Bloomsbury one? I love it!

    • The Oxfam in Bloomsbury is wonderful. I might have to donate a book or two if I finish them Before going home. Perhaps if I leave the sweatshirt I can buy another book!

  2. I wish I had known you were going to be here, I would have loved to meet you. You’re right it has been warm for the time of year. All our overseas students arrived last week and they have been sitting around in the Institute gardens commenting on how much better the weather is than they had been expecting. Just you wait! That is what I feel like saying but why spoil their pleasure just because I know what the weather for the rest of their stay here is likely to be.

    • Yes, the book bag issue is the worst! I didn’t go quite as crazy in the bookstores this time. because I was so aware of the luggage problems. A great city!

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