Sunday, 12 February 2017

Addiction

I have lots of bad habits but there is one which is bordering on an addiction.     I can only satisfy feed it when we drive the dozen or so miles into one of our small local market towns and we don't do that very often.

However, the other day I had an appointment to have my hair cut (always stressful) and before I knew it my resolve had weakened and I was at it again.


Books.   Second-hand books from a charity shop.   Fifty pence each or three for a pound.    There are lots of charity shops in Louth, but this one is the best for books.    The route to my hairdresser's salon took me right past it.   Well, I just had to make a tiny dog-leg detour.

How can I resist?   Brilliant books, favourite authors, all in very good condition.

In my defence, I do recycle most of them after I have read and enjoyed them.   Most, but not all.


This one certainly won't be going back.   It is a modern copy of a book which I read as a child.   It was originally published in 1938 and then again in 1955.   I read it in the early 1960's and loved it.

It is the story of a family of five children who were left to fend for themselves while their parents set off on a mission to rescue their sick Grandmother.    The children are evicted from the house they are living in but luckily a kindly farmer offers them a decrepit old barn which they clean down and turn into a temporary home.

They fend for themselves, do odd jobs, cook and clean.   Well, remember that it was written in the '30's, so the oldest girl does the cooking, cleaning, washing while the older boy does the more manly things...   But that is part of the charm of the book.    It was written in different times.

Having said all of that, the main reason that it has lived so long in my memory is because the children use a haybox for some of their cooking.   This idea fascinated me, I thought it was a marvellous if somewhat mysterious process.

I hope to persuade Max to make one for me, if not I shall set too and make one myself.   It really is a very simple concept which I posted about here.

Must dash, I have a book to read.   



12 comments:

  1. I have just found your blog and what a treat to see a pile of books in your picture. To find a Persephone in a charity shop is a rare thing and has only ever happened to me 4 times. I actually bought The Children who lived in a Barn new as it was the only way to get hold of a copy. My Persephone collection is about 20ish so far.....many more to find.......although at the moment they are packed in a box as we wait for a move back to the countryside. Loved the bridge photos as did OH who was a Bridge Inspector with Suffolk CC for many years

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    1. Hello Sue, I was thrilled to find a Persephone book and then to find it was the Children who Lived in a Barn - well you can imagine how happy that made me. I started reading it last night, thoroughly enjoying it. I'm glad your OH enjoyed sight of those bridges, there's certainly no shortage of them around here. The old railway bridge is one I am particularly fond of. It wears its scars proudly and long may they continue to maintain it. A skip lorry badly damaged it a couple of years ago and we all held our breath while we waited for them to decide what they were going to do about it.

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  2. Love love love books. Your charity shop has some great looking books, good condition, so cheap and great selection. Buy buy buy!!!

    I'm still reading some from the Athens Xmas bazaar. Wish I could get more. I buy second hand online. Just having a pile of books to look at is so soothing for the soul!!!

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    1. Hello Linda, I remember that post, the book stalls, and your great haul. It really made me want to have been there. I know exactly what you mean about a pile of books being soothing, I must admit that I get a bit twitchy if I don't have some fresh (to me) ones waiting in the wings. I am deeply grateful to my parents that they instilled in us a love of reading and a respect for books.

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  3. As with Sue in Suffolk, I have only just found your blog and oh, how lovely to know of someone else (Sue included) who is addicted to books! I think you will enjoy Kirsty Wark's first novel, I loved it. And while I've read other novels by Lucinda Riley, I've not read this one, but she is another good novelist. I have a whole stack of Persephone books because I began buying them as they were published but didn't keep up with the reading, so stopped buying them, but they are very handsome books, ones which are 'keepers'. This is one addiction that I don't think needs hitting on the head, long may you continue to enjoy books, borrowed, second-hand or new. My latest books are a set (bought separately, not as a set) of social history books on London by Liza Picard. These are not one long narrative, but books you can dip in and out of. I'm currently enjoying (if that is the word, with all the noisome smells in the 1750s!) London through the eyes of Dr Johnson.
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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    1. Hello Margaret and welcome! This will be my third Lucinda Riley book I have thoroughly enjoyed the previous two, fingers crossed for this one. I love the quiet exterior of the Persephone books and then the hidden treasure within with those lovely endpapers and bookmarks, as well as the great content. Ten or eleven years ago, when we moved into this place, the removal men were less than thrilled with the sheer number of book boxes which they had to haul about. My collections have only increased since then. Luckily, my husband is brilliant at building book shelves! I like the sound of your latest books although I'm afraid my 'nose' could make it difficult for me to read some passages! I look forward to visiting your blog a little later today. (Elaine, aka Felicity)

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    2. We are both fortunate, Elaine (aka Felicity) in having handy husbands who can build shelves! I did my last book 'weed' three years ago and parted with around 300! I now need to weed again. There are books in every room with the exception of the bathrooms and our bedroom (although they do tend to pile up on my bedside chest of drawers, aka bedside table.) I have always loved books and some years ago I used to help out in a friends' antiquarian/2nd hand bookshop, which was like putting an alcoholic in charge of a brewery! I spend my wages on books, they weren't daft in asking me to help out, where they? They retired some years ago and since then their vibrant business has closed down, sadly.
      I have different books in different rooms, for example, the bed sitting room is all hard back fiction, the dining room is all paperback fiction but not the Persephones which live on an Edwardian mahogany revolving bookcases (also in the bed sitting room). All non-fiction is here in the study (two complete walls of books) and various collections, such as Trollope (Joanna and Anthony), Hardy, Cecil Roberts, Richard Church (many people haven't heard of those 1940s/1950s writers these days), plus leather-bound pocket books, live on the bookshelves in the sitting room. In the guest room are my lovely Lorna Hill 'Wells' ballet books, plus poetry, antiques, and goodness knows what else ... the history of shopping for example! Then there are tables smothered in books (style books such as those about Colefax & Fowler and Nicky Haslam and Nina Campbell) and are in danger of collapse ... and don't get me started on my magazines ...
      Look forward to you dropping in on my blog ...
      Margaret P

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    3. Hello Margaret, I have spent a happy hour or so reading some of your blog posts and thoroughly enjoying it, too. I'll be back to read some more as time permits. It is clear from the photographs of your elegant home that books are important to you, too. Up until about five years ago I would travel to Lincoln for their book auctions, usually once or twice a year. I sometimes had to sit on my hands to stop myself bidding. Of all my books, the ones I love the most are my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 18th Century up until around the Second World War. Most of them do not state who collected the recipes, or where they lived, which is a shame. One of my interests is to occasionally bake one of the recipes from the books. Two of our three children share this passion for books and have large collections of their own. I count that as a job well done. Now I need to work on the grandchildren.

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  4. I have an addiction to getting books for my Kindle, though I do like the real thing as well

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    1. Hello Bill, I do think that Kindle's can be useful, especially on holiday. Unfortunately, mine languishes unloved and in the bureau for most of the time!

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  5. I must admit, mine is a full fledged book addiction... So nice to be reading "new" posts from you....love the bridges and dovecote photos.

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    1. Hello Meggie, Several days on and I am still less than keen on the haircut I got that day. I know it will grow, in time! Luckily 'The Children who lived in a Barn' is proving to be a wonderful read and more or less as I remembered it. I was so lucky to find it that day!
      ps It is a great addiction to have, as long as you have plenty of space for bookshelves.

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