A (shamefaced) Project 24 update

It was all going so well. I’d only bought 7 books so far all year. I was – let’s be honest – a little smug about how easy I’d found it.

Reader, I have something to confess. I’m now up 12 books… yep, halfway through my 24 book allowance. And that puts me a solid six weeks ahead of where I should be.

Let me explain – I spent a week in Shropshire (which was lovely, and very sunny, and all was great until I got a sick bug…) and on Saturday I was up in London for a little blogger/podcast meet-up. More on that very soon, but let’s just say that it involved a very good little bookshop – Walden Books in Chalk Farm. Between these things, much temptation was thrown in my path… so which books did I buy?

Project 24 may 2017

Catchwords and Claptrap by Rose Macaulay

That’s the Hogarth Essays pictured above – a little treasure I saw in the bookshop next to where we were staying in Ludlow. I do enjoy that – despite the implicit and explicit antagonisms between Macaulay and the Woolfs in the Battle of the Brows – they also published her. This essay is about slang, and a lovely little book.

The ABC of Authorship by Ursula Bloom

We visited The Aardvark Bookery, which was on the way (if memory serves) to a Victorian working farm. I couldn’t come away empty-handed – and I’d have had very full hands any other time. On this occasion, I picked up a fun 1938 guide to writing – very much a period piece, rather than useful reading advice now. Bloom was extremely prolific, and I’ve read a handful of the books she published as Mary Essex.

All the Dogs of My Life by Elizabeth von Arnim

We popped into the small, lovely town of Presteigne – which included a tiny bookshop. Nobody was there but the door was open, so Dad and I had a mosey. After a bit, somebody put his head around the door – and asked us to turn off the lights and close up when we were ready, and put money on the desk if we bought anything. “It’s an honesty bookshop – isn’t it great? This is Presteigne!” I thought I hadn’t found anything, but happened to scan the shelf of books about dogs. And here this was!

The Pelicans by E.M. Delafield

Walden Books was a real treasure trove of (fairly cheap) interwar novels – there were even quite a few Persephones there – but I hadn’t expected this. Finding The Pelicans was one of those rare moments – where I grab the book and clutch it to myself, lest anybody sneak in and get it before me. (With two book bloggers on the premises, this wasn’t impossible.) It’s not exactly unfindable online, but I’ve almost never seen E.M. Delafield novels (beyond the obvious half dozen) in the wild, as it were, and it was rather a thrill.

Country Notes by Vita Sackville-West

And I couldn’t resist this one either – same bookshop – even though I knew it was taking me to the end of June. It’s a collection of short essays by Vita Sackville-West about the countryside, in a hefty hardback, with the sort of fairly terrible photography which must have looked impressive back in the day. But a nice book to add to my VSW collection.

So, in summary, as people used to say back in 2012 – ‘sorry not sorry’. I’d do it again. But somebody make sure I’m locked in the house until the end of June, m’kay?

9 thoughts on “A (shamefaced) Project 24 update

  • May 15, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Please could you talk about your book cull as mentioned on Twitter–200 need to go you said?

    And i saw the Von Arnim last year when i bought INTRODUCTION TO SALLY–someone must have had a clear out as there were 6 Von Arnim’s from the 1920s/30s.(A National Trust charity bookshop.)

  • May 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

    But they all fit so well with your acquisitions policy and collection management guidelines. I don’t think they even count!

  • May 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

    But how could you resist? You might never have come across these books again! Lovely finds Simon, and entirely justified!

  • May 15, 2017 at 11:42 am

    What a lovely post! You’d have to support an honesty book shop, even if it broke a commandment. You did the right thing.

  • May 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I’ve given up on Project 24, it was an epic fail. I blame all the book bloggers for raving about all the forgotten books! But I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty about reading my newest books and just read what I want, when I want, unless it’s for a book group.

  • May 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    I’m jealous, especially of the von Arnim as I only have the Virago copy, and all my other von Arnim books are the lovely old ones.

  • May 17, 2017 at 2:28 am

    >>>Finding The Pelicans was one of those rare moments – where I grab the book and clutch it to myself, lest anybody sneak in and get it before me. (With two book bloggers on the premises, this wasn’t impossible.)

    Ahahahaha, I cracked up when I read this. I felt exactly the same about the Mollie Panter-Downes books. Book bloggers are so perilous to go bookshopping with! We are huge enablers AND liable to beat each other to all the best books.

  • May 23, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    But it if wasn’t for the 24 project you would likely have bought twice this many…..


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