Some books from Brighton

Brighton booksA few weeks ago, I spent a couple of days in Brighton for a conference – and, whilst I was there, managed to persuade my colleagues that what they really wanted was to visit a secondhand bookshop. To do them credit, they did seem to enjoy it, and even bought a book or two – though the armfuls I was carrying around rather dwarfed them.

The bookshop was called Colin Page, and it’s brilliant. Excellent stock, low prices, and a spiral staircase = bliss. Also, the name of the shop also turns out to be the name of an American painter whose work I really, really like, so that was a nice coincidence. But you want to know what I bought, don’t you?

It was quite a quirky and unusual stock, mostly older hardbacks, and I think that was reflected in the books I came away with… Do tell me which you’ve got/read/want/etc.

The Flower-Show Match by Siegfried Sassoon
I grew very fond of Sassoon while reading Anna Thomasson’s A Curious Friendship, and have bought quite a few non-fiction books by him since then – this is my first collection of his prose fiction. I think fiction?

The Author and the Public: Problems of Communication
This is an anthology of different people thinking about the unique relationship between author and public. I have the perfect shelf for this sort of book, of course…

The Writing on the Wall by Mary McCarthy
Literary essays by an author that I have yet to read anything by – but what got this off the shelf and into my hands was the fact that a couple of the essays are about Ivy Compton-Burnett. I will amass anything about Dame Ivy.

Adonis and the Alphabet by Aldous Huxley
SIMON. Read some of the Aldous Huxley books you already have. Yes, I know. BUT ALSO LOOK HOW PRETTY THIS ONE IS. (More book descriptions below the image, of course.)

Brighton books 2016


The Art of Growing Old by John Cowper Powys
I’ve grown more interested in the Powys brothers now that I have father-is-vicar-of-Montacute in common with them; this looks unusual and intriguing.

Muriel Spark – John Masefield
I’ve read lots and lots of Muriel Spark’s novels, but I’ve never read any of her biographies – and have to confess that I’d forgotten she’d even written one of Masefield. It will be intriguing to see if her is similar here to her unmistakably Sparkian novels.

Max Beerbohm in Perspective
I can’t see who wrote this from the image, and the book is all the way across the room… but I keep piling up books by and about Beerbohm, based on having liked one novel and one collection of essays. Here’s hoping I continue to enjoy Max!

The Reading of Books by Holbrook Jackson
Try imagining a world in which I didn’t buy a book with this title. You couldn’t do it, could you?

Mainly on the Air by Max Beerbohm
And there he is…

Also in the bigger image are two books I bought in a charity – House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (which I had thought I owned, but apparently didn’t) and The Condemned Playground by Cyril Connolly, to follow up my read of  Enemies of Promise.

11 thoughts on “Some books from Brighton

  • May 16, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I live in Brighton and I’ve never been in there – time to remedy this as you seem to have got a wonderful selection!

    • May 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Alice! How can this be! You must get there IMMEDIATELY.

  • May 16, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Those are lovely finds, Simon! Particularly interested in the John Cowper Powys – I have four large (and I mean LARGE!) novels plus his autobiography on my shelves, but I’ve not come across the one you found. I owned that very edition of The House on the Strand in my teens and remember loving it a lot!

    • May 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      He loved a long book, didn’t he? I was very intrigued by it – I think it’s non-fiction, but not clear. They were such a fascinating family, but seem to have fallen out of fashion now, rather.

  • May 16, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Oh, Brighton as a book destination! I want to read the Daphne du Maurier.

    • May 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      I’ve been meaning to read more Daphne for ages, and this one particularly, so it might leap up the review pile…

  • May 17, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I love Brighton, the madly colourful Pavilion, the 5-storey Waterstones, the Lanes, the pebbly beach, but I’ve never visited a second hand book shop there. Gives me another excuse to go …

    • May 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Whereas I didn’t find the Waterstones! There were a couple other bookshops too, but Colin Page was far and away the best one.

  • May 18, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Lovely! Can you read The Author and the Public: Problems of Communication soon, please, and let me know a) if it’s about authors and their readers or the physical public b) it mentions reception theory, c) it mentions Iris Murdoch? And then be prepared to lend it to me for my as-yet-uncompleted research or recommend it for purchase. Thanks!

    • May 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Haha! Gosh, well, I will do at least some of these things… I’ll look in the index and see if Iris gets a mention. I have a feeling it’s more about interviews than reception theory, but I’ll see.

      • May 19, 2016 at 8:02 am

        Any of the above will be fine! I am trying desperately to find time to finish Writing Up so I hope there isn’t anything but I can’t look that book in the face and then totally ignore it!

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