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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Secondhand Books

Robert McCrum on secondhand books:

Anyway, I’ll be heading off any moment to the Gloucester Road Bookshop to see what I can find. Part of the pleasure of the excursion is that you’ve no idea beforehand what will float into your net – but whatever you emerge with, it’s a safe bet that it will have cost less than a tenner (or even a fiver: like many good secondhand shops, Gloucester Road has a shelf of battered paperbacks for 50p each). Away with “Best Novels of 2009”, farewell to “the new faces of the new year”: I shall be enjoying “the best novels of the 19th century” and the new faces of Edwardian England. Seriously, how many authors today are writing better than Forster, Conrad, JM Barrie, Henry James, Ford Madox Ford or even PG Wodehouse at their best?

2 Responses to “Secondhand Books”

  1. Jim Murdoch says:

    Books don’t go off. Granted some may date a little but there are so many authors and so little time. Besides I’m a mean bugger and think that £7.99 or more is an awful price for a new book. Then again I think ten bob for a bar of chocolate is highway robbery.

    jb says: Hi Jim, you mean bugger, you. Must admit, though, that most of my book buying is of the second-hand variety.

  2. Thomas says:

    Hey john.
    I haven’t been following your blog too much recently. I have a lot on here in Oslo. Makes for fun reading to catch up though. Thanks for all the stimulating posts.

    jb says: That’s me. Mr Entertainment.