Z buys books

Home again, darlings, I’m sure you’d have missed me frightfully if you’d known I’d been away.  I went to London for the afternoon and evening.  Just got back.  I went to a sculpture exhibition at the Royal Academy and then to my friend Lynn’s book launch.  It was so good to see her, we haven’t met since Weeza’s wedding, which will be six years ago in August.  She only lives in Tunbridge Wells, there’s no good reason not to see each other more often but we never get around to it.

Her poems are extremely impressive.  I expected a lot, but they surpassed expectations.  The subject matter surprised me, being Mary.  Yes, that Mary, and from her perspective – I was going to put in a couple of quotations, but I’d end up with whole poems, I don’t want to diminish them with a soundbite.  She also had a small anthology of lighter poems, which I also bought … several copies of both.  I made her sign copies of each for all my children!

Her family asked me to stay on and have supper with them, but I couldn’t, because I was booked on the 9 o’clock train home.  I shared a table with three cheerful blonde women, two of whom had been shopping and the third who works in London.  She said, she’s about to renew her season ticket and it’ll cost over £5,000.  £5,400, I think she said.  Ouch.  They all got out at Ipswich.  The one with the season ticket is training to run the London Marathon.  The other two had various shopping bags and had evidently had a successful day…

All I bought were books.  Lynn’s, and before that, since I’d had twenty minutes spare I’d wandered into Waterstone’s, where the habit of a lifetime overtook me and I bought three novels.  Since I’d taken two books to read on the train, I hardly needed to, but I was unable to prevent myself.

15 comments on “Z buys books

  1. yaya

    I know, Kindles, Ipads, and all manor of techie reading is the thing now. I’ll probably invest in one of those in the future..but put me in a book store and I’m in heaven. I must grab a book..hold it, smell the new pages..feel the weight of it in my hand..and then I can’t have just one. Sort of like Chocolate.

  2. Z

    I’ve nothing against reading a book on an electronic device, and I like having a choice of books to hand, even if I only have a few minutes to spare, but it will never be the same as a real book. And then again, at present new ebooks are expensive to buy, but you’re not really buying them, only the right to read them.

    It is a small world, I love that blogging brings people that much closer. I hope your son has a good visit and doesn’t have to work all the time!

  3. Rog

    You have to admire someone who get’s the 9pm home every day in a marathon train commute AND trains for a Marathon. She must be superwoman.

  4. Z

    Indeed, Rog – though, since she said that she gets up early to train before catching her train — oh, that looks odd!— I think that she and her friends had met after work for a meal and she was going home later than usual.

  5. MOTB

    And what did you think of the sculptures? My enthusiasm waned the more modern they were but that probably says far more about me than the sculptors.

  6. Ros

    I have at least 20 unread books piled up next to The Chair.

    This does not include the couple I’ve started but am struggling with, nor the second-hand replacements of Somerset-Maugham’s short stories that I bought from my good friends at Amazon before Christmas and haven’t yet dipped a toe in.

    I am such a frequent buyer that if I miss a week they send emails enquiring after my health!

  7. Z

    MOTB, I answered your question so fully that I might as well make a post of it! I’ll let you know later.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one, Ros, I’ve got a stack of unfinished or unstarted books. I used to buy two or three books a week and still reread those I had, and visit the library too, but my reading habits have dropped right off. I blame the internet!

  8. Dave

    I’ve got a stack of a dozen real books (all bought from charity shops, I can’t remember when I last bought a new book from a bookshop) and dozens on my Kindle, all waiting to be read. If I ever have to go into hospital I’ll have plenty to bring in with me.

  9. Z

    I don’t very often buy new books from shops, sad to say, partly because they’re so much cheaper online and partly because I don’t often go to Norwich to shop (price of petrol and parking, both of which I resent), which I used to do at least once a week. But I still take pleasure in buying newly published books.

    Someone, I think it was Alienne, said that a local charity shop has more books than it can cope with and she was told they can’t take any more.

  10. badgerdaddy

    One of the Yagnub charity shops gets donations from someone at the printer’s, and they get brand new books in as a result… But that second-hand bookshop in town was a massive disappointment. The man was not nice.

  11. Blue Witch

    £5,400 sounds a lot but it’s just over £100 per week. You don’t have to do much mileage in a car to spend that… it’s just that most people have no clue how much their car costs to run and in depreciation.

    I do think people who are lucky enough to have public transport between their home and work should stop wingeing. The rest of us are subsidising them already…

  12. Z

    The one down U O St? It’s still there, but I rarely see anyone in there.

    Oh Simon, you are sweet. You haven’t seen me glare at kittens, however*

    She wasn’t whingeing, BW, she was just saying, and the rest of us winced. I don’t know if she also has to pay to park her car at the station. Taking out her holidays, it probably works out around £23 per day, which still sounds quite a lot to me, considering she pays up front. I only paid £16 for a much longer journey, it’s she that subsidised me.



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