It is my custom to search second-hand bookstores when I visit a new location.
I believe it is my duty to share my success.
There are a plethora of charity shops in the UK. Initially this confused us; I truly wondered what one bought in a store called British Heart Association or Help The Aged. We found the best deals at Oxfam Bookshops where books sold for £1 – £3.
The tankard on the right, in need of cleaning, was 50 pence!
We found it in Lutterworth, the final home of John Wycliffe.
After visiting the Edinburgh Castle, we hit our saturation point with castles and palaces. We ditched plans for the Holyrood Palace and hit the bookstore district. We walked down five flights of stairs and several blocks where six independent second-hand bookshops huddled together under the castle’s shadow.
Some shops were elegant, with a tweed-wearing, trim-bearded proprietor. Their prices, alas, were also elegant. One shop was shabby, shelves sagging with the weight of books. I have never seen such a vast collection of first edition Henty books in my life. I say, there is nothing quite so seductive as a shelf full of good-condition, Victorian hardbound books for boys.
More of our 50 pence ($1 to us) brass, found in a box in front of a store.
(Cleaning them up is on my list of stuff to do.)
The best finds were all from Curt’s patient, methodical search through the shelves. Oh the glorious books he found! If I were a rustic oafish man, talking about my wife, I’d say something cheesy like, “I think I’ll keep her.” Still, he is a keeper, and I’m so glad that wonderful book-finding man is my keeper.
Curt found this early in our trip and read about half during the trip.
John Ploughman is a generic name like John Doe.
My favorite quote from Spurgeon’s preface,
“There is no particular virtue in being seriously unreadable.”
John Ploughmans’ Talk, C.H. Spurgeon I believe this is the best find. Quotes to come!
In Search of Scotland, (1929) H. V. Morton, a travel writer
In Search of England, (1927) H. V. Morton
In the Steps of The Master, (1934) H. V. Morton, on Palestine
A Child’s Book of Prayer in Art, (1995) Sister Wendy Beckett
The Laughing Christ, (1933) Pearson Choate, an intriguing look at how Christ in portrayed in art; we couldn’t pass it up
The Herb of Grace, (1948) Elizabeth Goudge
Trains and Buttered Toast, (2006) John Betjeman, Radio talks for the BBC in 1932-1952
The Nature Notes of An Edwardian Lady, (1989) Edith Holden, lush watercolors, a jewel of a book
Scotland, Food and Drink, (1982) John Fisher
Collected Poems of G.K. Chesteron (1941) wickedly clever, a mix of light and heavy verse
Cautionary Verses Omnibus Edition, (1993) Hilaire Belloc I think adults like these more than children!
Stories Essays and Poems, (1963) Hilaire Belloc
The Path to Rome, (1902) Hilaire Belloc ‘The only book I ever wrote for love.’
Places, (1942) Hilaire Belloc
Wild Wales, (1905) George Borrow my friend highly recommended this author
Lavengro, (1851) George Borrow
That House That Is Our Own, (1940) O. Douglas
Eliza for Common, (1930) O. Douglas
The Day of Small Things (1933) O. Douglas
My World of Islands, (1983) Leslie Thomas a book I was looking for
A Hole Is To Dig, (1952) Ruth Krauss, if you have a child in your life, you must have this book
The Mortification of Sin, John Owen
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, (1939) T.S. Eliot priceless fun
Locations, (1992) Jan Morris – Zinsser recommended this author
The Kitchen Congregation, (2000) Nora Seton, I couldn’t resist the title
Bunyan Characters (1894) Alexander Whyte a lovely hardbound to hold in your hands
Fathers of the Kirk (1960) ed. Ronald Selby Wright short vignettes, including one on Chalmers
The Child That Books Built, (2002) Francis Spufford the cover drew me in
Country Bunch, (1963) Miss Read
The Warden, (1855) The Last Chronicle of Barset (1967), An Autobiography (1883) Anthony Trollope