Mission Impossible : Mission Accomplished

For those keeping track – I did it!

The challenge was set; the cap thrown down; the wallet fitted with an anti-bookshop device. For the whole of January I didn’t buy a book. 31 days. Not in a shop, not online, not in a back alley or on the black market. It worked so well, in fact, that I am going to try and repeat the venture for Lent. Which gives me a window of 6 days to buy books…

Don’t worry, I haven’t let the grass grow under my feet. To mark the occasion, Lucy (who made the bet with me) and I went to a Book Fair! It was more fun than productive, in that I bought one book and she none – the books brought were towards the top end of the sellers’ fare, and a little out of the price range of a trainee librarian. Luckily a trip to Oxfam Bookshop in my lunch break earlier that day provided a few more spoils… and I also bought a couple of books online that I’d been hankering after. Which brings today’s total to seven.

So what were they, you ask? Well, sit comfortably. And then tell me what you think. And sorry that I appear to have put one book upside down in the photo…


Belinda – Maria Edgeworth
Pandora have published a few gems, and Maria E is someone I’ve intended to read for quite a while. I had to leave a beautiful copy of Burney’s Evelina behind at the book fair, so this will have to be my Austen-period purchase for the day.

Pencillings – J. Middleton Murry
This is the Book Fair book – written by Katherine Mansfield’s husband, this is a collection of “little essays on life and literature”, to quote the jacket.

A Voyage to Arcturus – David Lindsay
The author of ’50 Books…’ novel The Haunted Woman, this is the one aficiandos most eulogise. More fantasy than THW, so we’ll see…

The Wings of Heaven – Monica Dickens
Another ’50 Books…’ author, thought I’ve yet to read any of her non-loosely-autobiographical works, if you know what I mean.

Lettice Delmer – Susan Miles
Always a pleasant surprise to find a Persephone book secondhand, though can’t imagine why anyone would ever give one away! LD is a novel in verse… a first for me.

The two books I bought online:
Counting My Chickens – Deborah Mitford
Still embroiled in the world of the Mitford sisters, and intrigued by this book by my favourite Mitford.

Chedsy Place – Richmal Crompton
What torture it was to have the automatic email from abebooks.co.uk alert me to the fact that an RC I didn’t own was for sale! I waited for two weeks… and thankfully it was still there! Will be heading to me before long.

6 thoughts on “Mission Impossible : Mission Accomplished

  • February 2, 2008 at 12:35 am
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    Congratulations on not buying any books for the month of January! Very impressive. I only last a week on my self imposed no purchase pledge.

    I will be interested in hearing what you have to say about ‘Wings of Heaven’as I have it sitting on my shelf ready to read.

    Oh, and would you like a copy of “The Angel in the Corner”? I have just finished it – quite good, but I have somehow ended up with 2 copies and I don’t really need both:). I thought I would offer my spare to a fellow Monica Dicken’s lover before I drop it off to St Vinnies.

  • February 2, 2008 at 1:36 pm
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    Counting my Chickens is absolutely hilarious! I must read it again.
    Well done on your challenge.

  • February 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm
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    That is very impressive. I work in publishing and get free books all the time but STILL cannot stop myself from buying at least 2-3 books per month…

  • February 5, 2008 at 11:17 am
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    Ooh have never heard of Chedsy Place. I may ask if I can borrow this some time……

  • February 8, 2008 at 3:03 pm
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    Richmal Crompton was mentioned in Singled Out and one of the authors I noted down–I have a nice long list now of books thanks to that one. I can’t imagine anyone giving up a Persephone Book–imagine finding one in an Oxfam shop!

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