Sunday, 9 March 2014

This Week in Books

This weekend I braved the London roads and drove home. It was my first time driving in London and I would be lying if I said the three of us in the car didn't celebrate when we hit the M4 intact. One of my favourite things about being back in Somerset (aside from my parents and the pooch), is being reunited with my bookshelves. When I moved, I took only a handful of books from my 'to read' pile and a couple of my old favourites (The Woman in White, Return of the Soldier, To the Lighthouse), which means the majority of my collection is still there. 

Whenever I'm back (and often when my parents come to visit), I do a book swap and take books I've read in London back to Somerset and get new books from Somerset to take to London. I like to think of it as shopping my shelves. It gives me little shivers of excitement to browse my own shelves of unread books and decide which deserve the honour of a trip to London. As much as it is heartbreaking not being with my entire book collection I do enjoy shopping my shelves and discovering books I'd forgotten I'd bought or remembering the reasons why I'd bought others. Trust me, it's exciting.

As well as spending some time rummaging through my own shelves this weekend, I also spent some time with my Mum's books. My Mum's shelves are amazing - lots of Virago Modern Classics and the entire works of authors like Barbara Pym and Fay Weldon. I have always relied on my Mum for brilliant book recommendations as so many of the books she has pressed on me in the past have turned into beloved favourites. We may not always see eye to eye (she has just DNF'd May We Be Forgiven which I loved), but I can more or less guarantee that any books still on her shelves that have survived years of charity shop culls are worth reading. So, to cut a long and meandering story short, these are the books I acquired from my Mum's veritable bookish treasure trove:

Look at all the pretty VMCs! 

Have you read any of these? Do you ever shop your shelves?



  1. So many beautiful books! I had tons of books at my mom's house for years, and it was always nice to be reunited with them.

  2. I love the idea of shopping your own shelves :) My family jokes that my house is like a library and that I should start issuing library cards, LOL I do love lending out my books and sharing the bookish love -- so long as I get them back!

  3. A lot of my books are currently stored in boxes, so every now and then, I pull out a box and browse through it. I also love thinking about why and where I got a book. And sometimes I find a book I had completely forgotten about. I hope that one day my kids will look over my books and find lots of inspiration and great reads among them.

  4. I go shopping on shelves like that when I go to my mum's house. Since I live in another country it doesn't happen often, so can be quite exciting. Although my mum doesn't buy new books (she's an avid library user) so there's never any surprises on the shelves... :D

    Well done with the car. I can't drive at all.

  5. Shopping your shelves is a great way to think of it! I like to do it at my sister's, she always has some great books I can borrow.

  6. Sounds fun! I didn't have a bookcase for years so I shopped the piles of books I had, and you forget just which books you own.


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