Credit Crunch and All That

I may have mentioned that I very rarely go to my local library, seeing that it’s been re-branded as an Idea Store, with half the space given up to PCs and training rooms, and a very limited selection of books. 

51v9DxT3GgL._SL160_ However, I was browsing in the bookstore earlier, and my eye was caught by this bee-yoo-ti-fool hardcover book displayed face-out on the shelf.  It’s an Orla Kiely design and is even more striking in real life.

The author was Barbara Pym, and despite me never hearing of her name (yes, I’m a plebian), I picked up the book and started leafing through.  I liked what I read, but sadly, could not bring myself to spend £10 for the book.  Or even £7 for any of her other paperbacks on the shelf.

51VQSRETAAL._SL160_ So because I had some spare time, I decided to stop by the Idea Store and see if they had any of her books.  I left with “Jane and Prudence”, which had the rather boring back cover blurb of:

Middle-aged Jane is the well-intentioned but far from perfect clergyman’s wife and mother. Prudence, who at 29 is teetering at the edge of spinsterhood, is an attractive, educated working girl. The two best friends share memories of their carefree days at Oxford, leisurely lunches, and gossip, but their ultimate goal is to find a suitable mate for Prudence.

but a rather pretty cover!  We’ll see.  I still want to read “Excellent Women”, which is the one with the Orla Kiely cover, and which, unfortunately, wasn’t available in the library.

Oh, and I spent some time browsing the various aisles – as expected, a bit hit or miss.  There were books 4 and 5 of Lilith Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine series, but none of the first three.  I have read the first and second books, so may return to finish off the series.  Ummm… Laurell K Hamilton, only the third Anita Blake book.  Jim Butcher, again, only one – “Storm Front”, I think.

The Romance section consisted of Mills & Boons only, but there were some other books scattered in the General Fiction area, including Jayne Ann Krentz.  I also left with JAK’s “Sizzle and Burn”.  I stopped buying her contemporaries a while ago because I don’t like the paranormal elements, but I figured I’d give them another try.

I was reminded, actually, of how I used to be more adventurous in my reading, and borrowing books I knew nothing about, just because they were shelved next to my favourites, or I liked their spines, or they were left out on the tables.  Nowadays, while I still read quite a few new-to-me authors, I rarely buy “blind”, always relying on recs and reviews online before purchasing.

So maybe cutting back on book buying and spending more time in the library isn’t such a bad thing.  As long as I remember to return them by 23 Nov, because one of my bad habits is forgetting the due date and ending up paying fines.

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6 thoughts on “Credit Crunch and All That

  1. I usually never buy books unless I have read them before (borrowed from the library) and know for a fact that they’re well worth my money.

    I’ve never heard of Barbara Pym either 🙂

  2. Well you know, since you’re investing your money, it’s understandable why you wouldn’t buy books blindly. Seriously… although I do it, I don’t recommend it, LOL!

    Those covers are very pretty indeed!

    As for the library, hey, I know all about it 😛 Just wondering though… do they only have those books in the series or the others are on loan?

  3. Hi Li

    Delurking to say I’m a big fan of my local library for saving money and trying new things and that was before I wandered in there today and found the new Vicky Bliss! So excited!

    I’m in London and if you get yourself set up online with your library card you can search the catalogue of your borough and probably some others (I’ve got access to 6 I think) and if you reserve things online its completely free. One benefit of all those computers…

    Enjoy! And thanks for your blog, I’ve found a few new authors on your recs.

    Vickie

  4. Emily – Complete opposites, then 🙂 Glad to know I’m not the only one completely blanking on Barbara Pym.

    Nath – You’re more generous than I am! I did double-check and nope, not in my local branch, though as Vickie says, I could have probably ordered them?

    Vickie – Thanks for the info, I’ll have to spend more time on their catalogue now. And the new Vicky Bliss – gosh, I like your library!

  5. I’m intrigued by the Idea Store. It’s a public library? A lot of libraries are devoting more and more space to computers, which is great in some ways, but not so good for us paper book lovers.

    I read Excellent Women a few years ago–can’t remember much about it except that I thought it was interesting and well written. But yay for using the library! If you live in an urban area you should definitely ask what the policy is for getting books delivered from other branches — I did that all the time when I lived in Brooklyn and was able to get almost any book I wanted delivered to my local branch.

  6. Jennie – Here’s their website: http://www.ideastore.co.uk . While I do moan about PCs taking up space, I admit they came in useful when my home broadband stopped working 🙂 I will def ask about their delivery policy.

    I liked the few pages of “Excellent Women” that I read. Reviews of “Jane and Prudence” are slightly mixed on Amazon, so not sure whether it’s representative of her writing.

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