Library mayhem

In early March Frances of Nonsuch Book and I went to Baltimore to visit a book “store” where all the books are free. She wrote about it here, so I won’t say too much more. What I am going to show you today is how that excursion threw my already full library into turmoil.

In very short order I began finding books that I knew would be coming home with me.

In the first 60 seconds of looking I came across two great finds. 

The result was a big old pile of books. 23 of them and all were free. But this meant I was going to have to find room in my already full library.
The chaos that ensued was I started to organize. Lucy occasionally gave advice and instruction.
I love that Nonsuch Book (no relation to Frances) publishes great forgotten literature. But they make them too squat and wide. They don’t feel real good in the hand and they take up too much shelf space.

Then came the issue of how to organize memoirs, bios, and letters. I didn’t have the guts to intershelve them with fiction by the subject as some on Twitter suggested. I ended up Creating a bio/memoir/letters section. That way I could accommodate the few non-literary subjects in my collection (e.g., Mahler and Rorem).

I’ve got a lot of Mitford. And this picture is even missing one volume.

Because of my recently discovered love of Eric Ambler (note the first picture at top) a friend suggested I might enjoy Helen MacInnes. I haven’t read her yet, but I wasn’t about to pass up all of these on the chance that I will like her.

So far, I have read The Masters in an old Penguin edition and the edition of The Affair shown here. After I found out that Snow’s work falls in a couple different series, I made a conscious decision not to learn more about them. Otherwise I would feel the need to start at the beginning and read them in order. 

I’ve read the first of the Ottley books which is included in this Virago omnibus. Plus I couldn’t pass up the cover. The Magnificent Spinster is one of my all time favorites and I already own this edition so I will be having a give away in the near future. Music in the Hills is totally rare her in the US and impossible to find unless you want to pay big bucks. I paid moderately big buck for the same version of Gerald and Elizabeth so this one will part of a give away as well. And the Ambler I have already talked about. 

10 thoughts on “Library mayhem

  1. Susan in TX April 12, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    Now that does sounds like a must-visit place next time I'm in the northeast. Love the picture of Lucy. :)


  2. vicki (skiourophile) April 13, 2015 / 5:51 am

    Helen MacInnes envy – mine are all mangy paperbacks or electronic (owing to having packed mangy paperbacks away somewhere, digging them out again, then discovering the typeface was the smallest in the world ever). I'd start with The Salzburg Connection or The Hidden Target.


  3. joan.kyler April 13, 2015 / 8:35 am

    I always get excited when I see a familiar book and I see several that I either have or have had in your stacks. I just bought C. P. Snow's Death Under Sail. I had no idea he'd written in the murder mystery genre.


  4. q April 13, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    BookPorn, BookPorn, BookPorn!!! Thank U….ahhh…my lovely day is now complete….can't have too much bookporn. Thank u for taking the time to show us. My Mitfords have their own stack on a golden tin old case w/ a deep mauve scarf draped oven them… w/ Sarton…these fine folks should be honored w/ silks and champagne. Keep sending us that fine bookporn (I have the Baltimore shop on my bucketlist after reading the Nonesuch article. I'm off to reorganize, thanks for the push…


  5. April 14, 2015 / 10:24 am

    bbbbooooookkkkkksssss!!!! What marvelous finds! I need to visit this bookstore.


  6. Alisa Wilhelm April 17, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Those C.P. Snow covers are making me drool. I'm so jealous of your library.


  7. Sarah Faragher April 21, 2015 / 3:16 pm

    Oh, good books… I like your Mitford shelf (loved “Wait for Me!” especially). I've never read anything by Helen MacInnes, but she was married to someone I admire, the classicist Gilbert Highet (who was also an intelligence agent), and I wish I knew more about their life together. I have to ask, have you ever read any of Mary Stewart's suspense novels? “This Rough Magic,” “My Brother Michael,” “Nine Coaches Waiting,” etc? I have all my mother's copies, and re-read them every few years. (I ask because I keep meaning to read Helen MacInnes, hoping she will be as good as Mary Stewart.)


  8. Amy April 30, 2015 / 1:25 pm

    Oh my gosh, you DO have the cutest dog! Can you post more pictures of Lucy?


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