Project 24: The Agony and… no, just the agony, really…

Project 24 is starting to get difficult… I’m already halfway through April on my allowance (if you count the book which is winging its way to me at the moment, to be revealed when it arrives) and, though there aren’t many specific titles I’ve had to avoid, I just miss book shopping…

But today was the first time that I stood in front of a book, something of a battle of wits, forcing myself not to buy it. The book in question is The Spy in the Bookshop: Letters Between Heywood Hill and John Saumarez Smith 1966-1974. It was in the £2 bookshop in Oxford which I walk past everyday. I really enjoyed the letters of Heywood Hill and Nancy Mitford, The Bookshop at 10, Curzon Street, and would love to have the follow-up… but I’m not excited enough about it to make it one of 24. But it’s only £2. But… but… but… this is so difficult!

I need to start planning what I’m going to do in January 2011… I’m thinking trip to Hay-on-Wye, trip to the Bookbarn, rather large splurge on my Amazon basket…

Tell me – if you’re joining in, which books have made Project 24 (or whatever number you’ve chosen) especially difficult?

15 thoughts on “Project 24: The Agony and… no, just the agony, really…

  • March 16, 2010 at 11:58 pm
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    Oh Simon, how do you do it? I've cut back on just about everything, but figure books will be my only vice (I'm PRETTY crazy, huh?). I have controlled what I purchase though, and don't just buy whims. Book shops in England just can't be beat, compared to our measly American shops.
    Your will is far stronger than mine…

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  • March 17, 2010 at 2:39 am
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    While I didn't give myself a hard and fast number like you did, I've really been exercising a whole lot more self-control re: books than I usually do. I have allowed myself to buy the books for the Cornflower reading group that my library doesn't have (so far, the library has had ONE — it's a bad library, though). But there are a couple that are starting to bug me, A.A. Milne's Red House Mystery and Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks. When I get that itch to "browse online" I walk over to the shelf where I keep all my TBRs and remind myself of all the good reading that awaits. It really helps. :) Of course, I'm staying out of the used book store — I know my limits. ;)
    Keep it up, Simon! Not only are you saving money, you are inspiring others to do the same.

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  • March 17, 2010 at 8:56 am
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    I have not had any real temptations trying to prevent me keeping to my zero purchases target so far, but let us see how I fare during the next 9 months!

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  • March 17, 2010 at 8:57 am
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    It's hard isn't it? i've given up for Lent and the only thing keeping me going is making an Amazon wishlist and writing birthday lists of books for all my nearest and dearest! I miss bookshopping too and popping into Oxfam for a browse at lunchtime…

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  • March 17, 2010 at 10:21 am
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    Lucky Jim was a similar case:

    Dixon paused in the portico to light the cigarette which, according to his schedule, he ought to be lighting after breakfast on the next day but one.

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  • March 17, 2010 at 10:50 am
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    Well I'm going to be smug and say I haven't found not buying ANY books at all as difficult as I thought I would. I haven't bought one since the end of December and I don't feel the loss of book shopping much. It's actually been really good for me to differentiate between want and need and I've got over my addiction to buying books – it had become a bit ridiculous and I'm glad I can now browse book shops without getting sweaty palms and gathering up armfuls of books I know I won't read for two or three years. It's also good to start finally reducing the TBR pile rather than constantly adding to it!

    I do have pangs where I see books I want, but then I remind myself of the massive pile at home that I haven't read and the pang passes!

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  • March 17, 2010 at 10:50 am
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    Well I'm going to be smug and say I haven't found not buying ANY books at all as difficult as I thought I would. I haven't bought one since the end of December and I don't feel the loss of book shopping much. It's actually been really good for me to differentiate between want and need and I've got over my addiction to buying books – it had become a bit ridiculous and I'm glad I can now browse book shops without getting sweaty palms and gathering up armfuls of books I know I won't read for two or three years. It's also good to start finally reducing the TBR pile rather than constantly adding to it!

    I do have pangs where I see books I want, but then I remind myself of the massive pile at home that I haven't read and the pang passes!

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  • March 17, 2010 at 11:36 am
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    Dear Bookssnob, glad to see a fellow member of the Project Zero society posting here!

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  • March 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm
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    Can't you flutter your eyelashes and persuade someone to buy it for you as a present? Instead of a coffee? Or instead of a chocolate Easter egg?

    So far this year I have bought 3 books, one of which was free with the Times so doesn't count. On the other hand my OH has bought me 4!

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  • March 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm
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    I'm enjoying Project Library but the downside is that I am not making any impact on my own TBR pile…

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  • March 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm
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    Simon, it may not be the same as owning the book, but are you available that (at the time of typing) there is copy sitting on the shelf in Oxford Central Library, waiting to be taken out on loan? The following rather long URL should take you to the details:
    http://www.libcat.oxfordshire.gov.uk/02_Catalogue/02_005_TitleInformation.aspx?searchTerm=&searchTerm2=a+spy+in+the+bookshop&searchTerm3=&searchTerm4=&searchType=98&Page=1&media=&branch=&authority=&language=&junior=&rcn=0711226989&fr=tl

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  • March 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm
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    I meant to say "are you aware" not "are you available". Unfortunately I missed that when I previewed my post, sorry!

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  • March 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm
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    Thanks for the info David – but, in fact, someone lent it to me tonight! This blog works wonders…

    Reply

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