My Inner Jane Eyre: The Box of Books from London

Jane Eyre card British library L_ISBN_5052849613496The bookstores in London are incredible.  I spent hours browsing at Skoob, Waterstones, Oxfam, London Review Bookshop, Foyles, Henry Pordes, Persephone, and some tiny shops whose names I didn’t notice.  The very tiny shops (but none mentioned here) will gouge you with high prices.

I mailed a box of books to myself.  I’ve been watching like a hawk for that box.

It arrived.  It took a while to rip it open.  Talk about tape!  The cats watched with interest.

But what pleased me most?  A  Jane Eyre greeting card from the British Library, a facsimile of the cover of the 1889 edition published by George Routledge and Sons.

And I realize from a Jane Eyre point of view that a collection of cards might be better mementos than books.

I feel smug about my books, though.  Honestly, I’ve never bought so many books at once.  What a great collection! I don’t need any more books for a while.  Do you see why I’m in Book-Buying Rehab????


I found some Viragos and Persephones, as you see in the closeup shot below.

IMG_3425 Note that I had to go to London to find On the Stroll by the American writer, Alix Kates Shulman, author of Diary of an Ex-Prom Queen.  I had ever heard of it.

Below are two other stacks, arranged on the cats’ rocking chair.

IMG_3428These are not organized by publisher, so I’ll call them Used and New.

Used Books:

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Island

Hugh Fleetwood’s An Artist and a Magician

Emma Tennant’s The House of Hospitalities

Compton Mackenzie’s Extraordinary Women

Leonard Woolf’s The Village and the Jungle

Pat Barker’s Toby’s Room

Ronald Firbank’s Five Novels

And a replacement copy of Forster’s A Room with a View which I’d lost on the plane

New Books

3 Novels by Cesar Aira

G. B. Stern’s The Matriarch

Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts

And now for the final picture.  Only two in this stack are used:  Beryl Bainbridge’s Mum and Mr. Armitage and Julien Green’s The Dark Journey.  The Collected Poems & Drawings of Stevie Smith is  a stunning book, but I realized after lugging it around London that hardcovers are too heavy for traveling.  The same goes for The Christine Brooke-Rose Omnibus, an enormous paperback I’ve been looking for for ages and of course had to buy!  Julian Barnes’s paperback, Keeping an Eye on Art, is exquisite.  It is now available in the U.S.!  Right after I bought it in the UK, of course.  Oh well, I love all these books, and no regrets!

IMG_3430Now off to hide some of these from my husband.  And  I have to do six months of book rehab before I allow myself to buy a new book!

4 thoughts on “My Inner Jane Eyre: The Box of Books from London

  1. What a beautiful selection of books – I can understand why you picked them all up! But what will you read first? And I’m glad I’m not the only one who has to sneak their books past their OH – I get mine delivered to work…


    • It IS hard to decide which to read first! The Persephones are nice and short, so I may read one of those. Yes, husbands don’t always understand: I weed, I replace, I weed, I replace…:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was wondering how you’d managed to find a used copy of the Barnes so soon after it came out. I shall be scouring our own local secondhand shops after Christmas in the hope that someone has been given a copy they don’t want (foolish beings) and sent it winging my way. Did you know he has a new novel coming out in January, ‘The Noise of Time’?


    • His writing is exquisite. I am blocking myself off from new book news for the next six months but that new novel is already on my TBR! His art book is one of the very few I bought new. And it was helpful for looking at art.


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