Friday, 23 August 2013

I can't be trusted in bookshops alone

I love to read, give me books and cups of tea and leave me alone, I won't complain.


Books are something you can take outside and sit reading while you enjoy the sunshine, or you can curl up with one under blankets at the fireside.

Oh goody! If it's raining I can spend all day inside with my books
Most of the books, and many of the clothes, I own are second hand (at least) charity shops are my supplier of choice.

They have clothes that come in a variety of styles and qualities, Hobbs and Jaeger often sharing a rail with Primark, all at prices I can totally afford. Some days you're going to want to buy everything, some days you won't see a thing. You learn to be decisive as well, that dress might be exactly the perfect thing for that event and just the right colour to match your shoes and only £3.99- but it's four sizes too big and those sweat stains under the arms probably aren't coming out so don't bother. On the other hand you would never have picked up a lilac silk blouse with yellow and turquoise swirls when it was full price, but at only £2.50 it's worth a chance.

Books are the same, you get to see everything all lined up together, occasionally there are attempts to separate them into sections of "Crime" "Romance" and "General Fiction" but generally only in the bigger shops, or ones entirely devoted to books. I prefer the ones where everything is just piled in, no attempt to order alphabetically or by size or anything, just put it where ever it fits and let the covers fight it out. This way you don't start looking with any preconceived ideas, it's just a gamble of whatever you pick up.

Admittedly it can still be as hit and miss as the clothing section, that book so many people have raved about but which seems to missing the first chapter? A Christmas Carol? You have always told yourself you'll read it one day, and for only 50p...

Sometimes the books you buy in charity shops aren't the prettiest editions, but it really is what's on the inside that counts and for less than two quid are you really going to be picky? Books that spend a couple of weeks in the bestsellers charts will generally always be found in charity shops, I picked up a copy of Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman about a fortnight after it had been released in paperback. That was one which went straight back almost immediately but it had only cost me £1 and that money went to a cause so I don't feel in the slightest bit miffed that I didn't enjoy the book. If however I'd have shelled out the RRP of £7.99 for a paperback with a boring cover, well... On the other hand I picked up Arabella by Georgette Heyer a while ago and every day is a struggle not to order her complete works.

I do buy full priced books, sometimes I even buy ones that I end up hating, but not often, I buy books upon their release when they're from an author I adore and if I see a special edition of a book I love (the Penguin clothbound editions for example...

Beautiful books are a luxury but books and stories aren't, second hand clothes might give you the squicks so walk past them, support charities and fill your houses with literature.

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