The Book Buying Ban… The Update

So I haven’t bought a book since the end of October when I had a bit of a haul that I reported to you guys on a week later. I have to say that I can’t really moan about how difficult it has been because the main way through the issue so far has been being very busy and most of all… Avoidance!!!

Yes I admit I have not really been in many bookshops or charity shops (I know, it’s not normal) but there have been opportunities such as a visit to Foyle’s waiting for a late friend. Then there is the weekly Sainsbury’s shop with its tempting best sellers section (though one was bought for me while we were in there the other day) yes the answer for me has been avoidance. What has been promising though, if I do give up buying books for charity next year, has been that still books have been arriving (despite the woes of the flood) in some abundance in the last week or so thanks to the library, swapping and publishers.

Despite the fact that I have been reading some corkers and then been sulking at having to give them back I am still using the library much, much more than I was. It’s the perfect way of trying out authors or publishers (as you will see) that I am interested in and getting my mitts on books you have recommended.

  • The Boat by Nam Le – So many of you recommended this how could I not pick this up? I think I am going to love it.
  • The Tragedy of the Korosko by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I am the biggest Sherlock Holmes fan but had never heard of this, not that it’s Holmes, and it’s a Hesperus book which is a publisher I must read more of since Lady Into Fox.
  • A Dog’s Heart by Mikhail Bulgakov – Want to read some of this author, never have and like the idea of a beast created by mixing a stray dog and a criminal. Sounds gothic and dark and is also Hesperus Press.
  • Betrayal by Marquis de Sade – Another author I want to try and a short Hesperus I can dip into.
  • Girl in the Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold – Long listed for the Man Booker and sounds a little sensational.
  • The Drivers Seat by Muriel Spark – After reading The Girls of Slender Means lots of you recommended this.
  • Wedlock by Wendy Moore – Some non fiction about ‘how Georgian Britain’s worst husband met his match’, sounds fabulous.
  • The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter – Loads of you have said I should try this and after Atwood’s Good Bones I want to try some more twisted fairy tales.
  • Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym – Again many of you have raved about Pym and I have not tried one of her books.
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri – Yet again through your recommendations of the author. So all these are basically your fault, and if you are getting bored of lists it’s your fault too.

I have also re-activated my Read It Swap It account again and used my unwanted books to get books I really wanted. Ok it costs a bit for postal… that’s not buying books though is it and I have got some gems.

  • The Spy Game by Georgina Harding – Has been on my wish list an age.
  • Birds of America by Lorrie Moore – As am trying my hand at shorter fiction and short stories have heard Moore is the queen of this. Is that so?
  • Perfect Happiness by Penelope Lively – After the review at Other Stories how could I not want to read this?
  • Hotel World by Ali Smith – I actually gave this one away on Read It Swap It ages ago… why?
  • A Partisan’s Daughter by Louis De Bernieres – After loving Notwithstanding I am keen to read much more from this author.
  • Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian – So many of you told me this was a must read when I asked about Asian fiction.
  • The Little White Car by Danuta de Rhodes – Or actually by Dan Rhodes who’s Gold I love, love, loved and this sounds a wonderful tale of some crazy capers of two ladies.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – After swapping this I realised already had it but this is actually a much nicer copy with bigger type and that can matter can it not?
  • Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xialong – Another Asian author recommended after I read the latest Xiaolu Guo novel.
  • The Provincial Daughter by R.M. Dashwood – I am about to read The Provincial Lady and so reading about the daughter after might be fun, have heard great things about both from you all.
  • The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie – Well I like reading books in order and this was the one I was missing and one which Eva said was one of her favourites.

Phew, that’s a bit of a barrage of book titles and some of my Read It Swap It’s haven’t arrived yet. I was going to add in the books received from publishers but think you might all be asleep if I do that so will follow up with part two later in the week. As ever your thoughts on my latest arrivals are most welcome and I will be delighted to hear what you think.


Filed under Book Spree, Book Thoughts

33 responses to “The Book Buying Ban… The Update

  1. Kals

    Buying books is my favourite feel-good exercise 😀 But libraries are like treasure troves =)

    I’d certainly recommend The Namesake too. It’s a great book by one of the most promising Indian authors of today. I’m quite sure you’ll enjoy it =)

  2. Hooray! I do hope you enjoy Perfect Happiness, it’s such a brilliant book. Hotel World by Ali Smith is also a corker. What a haul! Enjoy!

    • I don’t know why I gave Hotel World away before seems such a silly thing to do… and then to have to get it back hahahaha.

      Your review of Perfect Happiness was brilliant and really made me want it and so swapping was the only option!

  3. After reading and loving Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake is high on my list. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed A Parisian’s Daughter on audio…what a killer, sarcastic wit this guy has! And Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is just beloved. I also read this on audio, and actually bought the damn thing it was so good!

  4. I am with you that the only way to avoid buying books is to avoid the places that sell them! Even when I tell my husband that I just want to pop in to our local used bookstore to trade in some volumes I want to get rid of, I inevitably leave with my arms laden with more books… so I know that in order to stop this from happening, I need to just not go to the places where books live!

    And I know I should be a better library patron, but the thrill of books that are my very own always seem to outweigh those that come from books that are merely borrowed. Plus, the library always has the longest queue for any book that is remotely popular… and I’m really just making excuses, aren’t I? 😉

    • I have to say it was one small bonus with the books in the flooding being so damaged they couldnt be taken to the charity shop… as I then couldnt get more to replace them.

      The only downside to library books is indeed that you have to give them back which is most selfish and most irksome… well unless they are rubbihs of course!

  5. fleurfisher

    My philosophy of libraries is that I will borrow whatever I can – ordering if necessary. If I want a copy to keep I can pick one up later and if I don’t it hasn’t cost more than a reservation fee. I may have said this before, but I think its a point worth hammering because if serious readers don’t borrow quality books from the libray they many noot be there in the future. *Gets off soapbox.* And if you are finding books of that quality I should make my way back to RISI too. What name do you go by there I wonder…

    • You see the whole reason I avoided libraries before this was because a) my local one was rubbish b) I am a hoarder and c) I didnt like giving them back. Now I am in total agreement with you, I can send the ones back I dont like and get the ones I do later on, its a great system and we don’t want libraries disappearing.

  6. novelinsights

    Ooh, I think you’ll find this a tough task. I have a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good an Evil (I liked the film) but never got around to reading it. I also want to read Mikhail Bulgakov but may start with The Master and Margarita. It doesn’t look like you’ll run out of reading material though!

    • A tought task am confused (am going to ask you about this in a minute as you are washing your hair in my bathroom right now – tut)???? I am keen to read The Master and Margarita I just want to try something shorter first.

  7. novelinsights

    Oh and I’ve just seen a teaser of a book and thought you would like it – (I’m loving the sound of it) Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson

  8. You have some wonderful books there! I am yet to read The Boat even though it has received amazing praise here in Australia and has won many awards (not necessarily a sign of a good book I know but I think in this case it might be!). I really enjoyed Girl in a Blue Dress – it helped kick off my Dickens interest this year.

  9. Jo

    The Bloody Chamber is good. Definitely twisted fairytales. Oh, and I just finished Hotel World last night, that was fantastic too. It was supposed to be my ‘lunchtime book’ but i ended up not being able to put it down.

  10. I’m surprised you haven’t read Pym yet. I may have been one of those that raved about The Driver’s Seat. You have a lot of good reading ahead.

  11. Jessica Coleman

    I think you’re right that Girl in a Blue Dress was a little sensational. I can see why it was nominated and it was a good read, but it leans far more “women’s fiction” than I would have expected.

  12. Bellezza

    I loved The Death of a Red Heroine and The Namesake. All of the other titles you’ve listed are unread by me…

    Isn’t it an exercise in strength to stay away from bookstores? I gave up buying books for Lent one year, just to see if I could, and I’m now of the opinion that fasting might be easier.

    I love the way the British words (and phrases) appear in your writing. They’re so refreshing!

    • I think it was you and one other that recommended The Death of a Red Heroine and so I simply had to get it. Fasting is possibly the best way but am still determined to see how long I can last!

  13. kay

    I agree with you : the only way I can avoid buying books is to avoid places selling them. This has been kind of difficult, but it does help. A little. But I still find ways to get some!

    I’ll be very curious to see what you think of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Death of a Red Heroine.

    • Avoidance is definately key. I do have a real urge to go to a certain books tore I have heard of that has treasure troved rooms filled with 50p books though I am saving that for December when I can have more of a splurge!

  14. I can always count on you for recommending a book have just have to run out and……….buy! 😉

    My solution to the book buying addiction. Do go into bookstores (I can’t help myself. I just have to to into one every couple of days.) Instead of buying just write a small list of the books you want. Get these from the library or

    To relieve any guilt this activity might cause, I am taking advantage of the bookstore after all, I do buy one new book a month, sometimes two, sometimes three. Never more than three. Honest….

    • Oh dear which of these ones have you run out and bought since you saw this hahahaha.

      I have just started the list writing process with books now and am saving them for the library and ReadItSwapIt… am still avoiding book shops at all costs. But only 5 more days to go!

  15. Isn’t the library great? I’ve been trying to not use my credit card so I can pay it off, which makes book ordering impossible. I’m allowing myself used books or books bought with gift cards or credits–as long as I don’t go over (or by much anyway). Still, libraries are the best place to check out new books guilt-free! You’ve got lots of great ones there, too!

    • Libraries are indeed guilt free, I hadnt though of it like that before and its so true. I am going to buy books for others for gifts… but nothing for me whatsoever, its just so unfair hahaha.

  16. Simon, today marks a whole week since my last book purchase. A new record! P.S. I liked Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil when I read it years ago, but the movie was quite average in my opinion. Cheers!

    • Its a book that I am definately looking for though I do think owning two copies is a little much!

      I am now on day 26 and am feeling most smug if I do say so myself hahahaha. I already have a shop in mind for December the 1st though!

  17. Pingback: The Book Buying Ban… The Update (Part II) « Savidge Reads

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