Monday, 9 April 2012
Do other people have wish lists on Amazon that are over ten pages long, or is it just me?
The wishes are actually not so long for financial reasons, I always consider books to be money well spent anyway. No the list is extensive partly because I like to catalogue everything I read about and want to go back to, I use it as a backup plan when my memory fails (which is often). It's also so long because some of the books are not easy ones to find and while I'd love to be the kind of person who has the time to rummage around second hand book shops for afternoons on end, I am not. So... I went to wonderful Windsor, which is around forty minutes on the train from London but feels about a hundred years away in some ways. It has lots of nice places to eat and drink, some nice walking along the river, a big castle you might have heard of to admire (or go into) and as this is England, shops.
One of my favourite shops there isn't the kind I usually talk about- little boutiques with nice shoes, or prints or perfume. It's a discount book shop and I LOVE delving into the store and finding treasure. Often I come away with cook books (hello Wagamama cook book for £5) other time coffee table books (hello film poster book). For reasons unknown I hadn't really looked at the fiction. Last weekend I did and I found a book that has been on my wish list for about 3 years and that I though was out of print- I literally danced a little jig.
Dodie Smith is the writer of two of the most beloved books in my life. The first: 101 Dalmatians, which as a child and adult I find endlessly comforting and joyful. The second: I Capture the Castle, a book I discovered via the film and as a grown- up, which I wish and wish I'd read as a teenager and which I return to again and again for more wistful reasons than the Dalmatians, to remind me to stay true to my course and to re centre me I think.
So to find Town in Bloom and another Dodie which I didn't even know about was so exciting. I grabbed a third book (Petite Anglaise- a blog I loved) and took my treasure- 3 books for 5 pounds- back to London (skipping).
If you go to Windsor, visit the works on the cobbled main street- I can't promise treasure but it's always worth looking.