Tea or Books? #9: buy or borrow and Christmas books: yes or no?


Tea or Books logoWelcome to a festive edition of ‘Tea or Books?’ (and another one where I forgot to close my bedroom window when recording) – Rachel (Book Snob) and I discuss buying vs borrowing and whether or not we read specifically Christmas books. The second part was sort of suggested by Samantha or A Musical Feast (in that I intended to do a blog post about Christmas reading, and accidentally did this instead.) We would love to know more of your Christmas book recommendations – please do put them in the comment section.

Rachel and I are very grateful for your support for ‘Tea or Books?’ in 2015, and we’ll be back in 2016 with more – and, as always, would love your suggestions for topics to cover.

Below are the books we chat about (or at least mention) in this episode. Happy Christmas!

Queen Camilla by Sue Townsend
The Queen and I by Sue Townsend
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamund Lehmann
The Weather in the Streets by Rosamund Lehmann
Dusty Answer by Rosamund Lehmann
The Echoing Grove by Rosamund Lehmann
The Ballad and the Source by Rosamund Lehmann
Agatha Christie
The Phantoms on the Bookshelf by Jacques Bonnet
The Making Of by Brecht Evens
Ian and Felicity by Denis Mackail
The Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell
Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Nutcracker
The Jolly Christmas Postman
by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon
The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
A Proper Family Christmas by Jane Gordon-Cumming
Ten Days of Christmas by G.B. Stern
Just William’s Christmas by Richmal Crompton
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Selected Ghost Stories by M.R. James
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie
The Santa Klaus Mystery by Mavis Doriel Hay
Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay
Murder Underground by Mavis Doriel Hay
Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford
‘The First Miracle’ by Jeffrey Archer

10 thoughts on “Tea or Books? #9: buy or borrow and Christmas books: yes or no?

  • December 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    In theory I like to use the library when I can, but in practice by the time the book I’ve reserved comes in I’ve moved on to something else. Plus so often what I want isn’t available – so I tend to end up buying!!

    • December 21, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      So true! Though Oxford luckily has a store in the central library. I never bother if things need to be reserved.

  • December 20, 2015 at 10:38 am

    I prefer borrowing books from the library rather than buying them. That’s what they are for, aren’t they?

    • December 21, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      That’s certainly what libraries are for, you can’t argue with that!

  • December 20, 2015 at 10:55 am

    You know well that my preference is always to use a library! I don’t have room for more books on my shelves, I cannot afford a larger flat in my (very lovely but expensive) part of London and I do like the ability to borrow something at random, dislike it after 20 pages and take it back the next day without any feeling of guilt! I also hope that perhaps I contribute (in a very small way) to keeping open a facility for all those people who cannot afford to buy books but who should be able to benefit from them as much as I do.

    • December 21, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Those are all certainly good reasons! That’s one of the reasons I’m glad to borrow the piano music, so I feel like I’m showing some support.

  • December 20, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Borrow every time.Old books do not smell too good either.I say that owning about 200 old books.Only buy out of print novels.


    • December 21, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Old book smell is my favourite, so long as they’re not been owned by a smoker, but I understand people who’d rather have new. But new book smell I find rather unpleasant!

  • December 21, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Maybe you misheard or mistyped the Truman Capote novel, but it is A Christmas Memory, not A Christmas Mystery.

    • December 21, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Ah, thanks! I was getting confused with the Gaarder.


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