Bookbarn Book Haul & More

We’re back from our weekend in Bristol and Exeter to hang out with university friends and attend our goddaughter’s dedication service. On the way (ish) down, we stopped at Bookbarn International, one of my favorite places to look for secondhand books. The shop is always coming up with new ideas and ventures – a rare books room, a café, stationery and store-brand merchandise, new stock alongside the used books, and so on – and has recently been doing some renovating of the main shop space. I contributed to a crowdfunder for this and got to pick up my rewards while I was there, including the items at right and a £10 store voucher, which, along with the small balance of my vendor account, more than covered my purchases that day.

We arrived around noon so started with a café lunch of all-day veggie cooked breakfasts plus cakes and coffee. Delicious! Then it was time for some dedicated browsing. All of the books on the main shop floor are £1 each; they’re working on restocking this area after the refurbishment. I found 12 books here, and ordered another two (the Janet Frame biography and Gail Godwin’s nonfiction book Heart) from the warehouse for £2 each.

From my book haul, I’m particularly pleased with:

  • The sequel to another Robertson Davies novel I own
  • The Frame biography – I loved her three-part autobiography and have also been dipping into her fiction; it will be fascinating to learn the ‘truth’ behind how she presented her life in memoir and autofiction. This copy looks to be in new condition, too.
  • The Tulip by Anna Pavord, which I’ve long meant to read
  • Another Carolyn Parkhurst novel – I loved The Dogs of Babel and Harmony
  • Another Wendy Perriam novel – I read my first last year and have been hoping to find more

I also bought copies of two of my favorite memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? and Journal of a Solitude (though I own a copy in America, I’d like it to be part of my rereading project this year). I now own two unread novels each by Candia McWilliam and Michèle Roberts and three by Rose Tremain, so I’ll need to be sure I read one from each author this year. I also have a bad habit of hoarding biographies but not reading them, so I want to at least read the Frame one before the year is out.

Between Bristol’s charity shops and Book-Cycle in Exeter, I bought another five novels during the weekend, including the Vann to reread and several by authors I want to increase my familiarity with. (Smug points for not buying the £2.50 copy of Boyle’s The Women at Bookbarn and then finding it at Book Cycle for 50 pence instead.) Total weekend spend on 19 books: £2.12.

 

Picked up any good secondhand bargains recently?

19 responses

  1. Lovely finds! Intrigued by the May Sarton! I was very happy to find a copy of Les Mis for £1.49 recently which I’d been after for ages….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s one of my favourite authors. This was the first book I ever read by her and still my favourite. I’ve now read most of her journals and other nonfiction, all her poetry, and a handful of her novels (which can feel pretty dated, it must be said). Journal of a Solitude would be an excellent place for you to start with her if you’re interested.

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  2. Well done, book shopper extraordinaire! 👏 Marm

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I -almost- picked up ‘News of The World’ in a tiny library! I’m very intrigued by the Jane Urquhart. I enjoyed ‘Away’ very much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved Away, too, and have read two more of her novels that I didn’t like as much. This one has a Victorian graveyard setting, so I feel like I’m sure to enjoy it!

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  4. I got a good hardback edition of Pavord’s The Tulip at a similar event a few years back. Have I read it? Have I heck! I really want to, but as it’s not borrowed, or Required Reading for something it keeps on being put at the bottom of the pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand how that happens! I’ve been meaning to go back through my previous Bookbarn hauls to see how many of the books I’ve actually read. I think I’m probably at nearly 50%, which is not too bad for me.

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  5. Trying so hard right now not to buy any more books until I make more of a dent into my unread shelf… but I enjoy seeing what other people are picking up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to look back at the end of the year and see how many of these new acquisitions I’ve actually managed to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. is your screen leaking green ooze? I’m green with envy – if I could walk away with bags of books for Br Pds Stg 2 I’d die of ecstasy! you have no idea how lucky you are. A friend currently living in the UK was telling me of routinely buying books in the UK charity shops for 50 p. 50 PENCE !! I repeat: you have no idea how lucky you are.

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    1. Of course, I’m fudging the total by subtracting my voucher and seller balance; if you don’t take those into account, it was actually an £18.95 shop. I am definitely a bargain hunter, and I often pick up books of this vintage for free from the free bookshop where I volunteer on a Friday. We also have one charity shop in town that does 3 for £1 on books, and several others that sell all books at £1. So although I rarely buy new books, I am always acquiring new-to-me ones. What’s the secondhand book market like where you live?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nowhere near as cheap or plentiful as yours! Books for 50 cents or One Rand each ? not happening. Our book buying market is pitifully small. In a national population somewhere north of 49 million, we only have a buying public of (I’m guessing) 1 or 2m. Not counting educational books. That market does well. But the leisure market? not so good. I attend charity sales & book sales diligently, but I always have to buy deeply wanted books on line. Sigh.

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    2. I didn’t realize how lucky I was here and in the States!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice! I had my wander up the charity shops the other week but because it was a sanctioned trip with a “voucher” from a friend I could hardly find anything, and I have another £4.50 left to spend! I can send you some more Perriams if you’d like!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Predictably, I didn’t find any books I wanted in Bristol’s cheapest charity shops (books 3 for £1). I think this Perriam should do me for 2020, but maybe next year!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I daren’t go there or Astley Book Farm, but I am rather picky on degrees of tanning and spine creasing (unless old Penguins) which would restrict my purchasing, but only a little!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’ve gotten wise and put all their pre-1960 Penguins in a Vintage section for £4 each. Before that you could have found some real bargains 😉 I only compromise on condition if it’s a book I’m unlikely to find anywhere else. I’ve been known to leave even free books (at the mall bookshop where I volunteer) behind on the shelf if they smell of cigarette smoke or are very yellowed or foxed.

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      1. Still £4 is not bad if the Penguins are in moderately decent condition.

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