Recently Cornflower asked her readers if they were given unlimited resources would they go on a binge and buy everything they wanted for their library or would they take a more piecemeal approach. No sooner had I responded that I enjoyed the hunt and would not get much pleasure from buying everything I wanted at once, when I was faced with two book buying opportunities. As I mentioned in a post last week, I am really tempted to buy the complete 37-volume Melville Publishing Art of the Novella series at 30% off. If I really was the onesy-twosy book hunter that I claim to be, I don’t think I would be consider buying this whole set. I highly doubt I would be interested in all 37 volumes, but my god the completeness of the purchase would be stunning. And then in a comment on my post I have CB James egging me on, for the right reasons mind you, but egging me on nonetheless.
And then I went to a book sale at my local library (Frances: that would be the Chevy Chase Library, not the new Tenley Town branch) and came away with 17 books. Granted the total haul only cost me about $25 but I must admit I was a bit indiscriminate in my choices. Not really finding anything that I really had to have at first, I started to grab every Virago I could see. I don’t feel bad about this. While not impossible to find here, Viragos are much rarer in the US than the UK. And who knows which of these Viragos will turn out to be undiscovered gems for me? It was only after I got home that I actually read the back covers and determined that most of these seem right up my alley. So it seems like I didn’t buy anything I shouldn’t have. And there was one that was a true find: Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns. Her novel The Skin Chairs turned me into a fan so I can’t wait to open up this one.
I guess the lesson for me is that while I wouldn’t find it interesting to buy a whole library worth of books in one fell swoop, I certainly can’t claim to be the restrained book buyer that I may have thought I was.