Brattling my way home

I was in Boston last week for about 24 hour for work and I had enough time to get my butt over to Brattle Book Shop and do some serious damage. Before I even started to look at their extensive outdoor book selection (yes, outdoors in Boston on a cold December day with an unignorable wind) I went inside and asked them if they shipped. Since I had less than zero room left in my luggage, this was a crucial question. Thankfully the answer came back in the affirmative.

Even the cold couldn’t keep me away from browsing the extensive outdoor carts and shelves. 
Mid-transaction. There was no way I had room for even one of these books in my luggage.
God bless the USPS and their efficient and cheap Media Mail rate.
I didn’t expect them to be so carefully wrapped. Nice job. Now if they could forgo the styrofoam peanuts…
The first thing I saw when I walked into the warmth of the store was this pile of vintage Thirkells. I couldn’t remember which paperbacks I already had at home, but I figured I couldn’t pass these up.
Many (most? all?) of Thirkell’s books take place (years later) in Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire. And who can pass up a map for end papers?
And there it is, the inspiration for my blog name. Good thing I didn’t choose Hoggle End. Then again, I am not sure that one appears in Trollope.
And speaking of Trollope…these editions are nothing special except for the fact that they exist. These stand alone Trollope novels aren’t exactly easy to find in the U.S.
A little bit of everything. The bottom two garden books are for John. Turns out I already owned Ambler’s Dirty Snow, but not quite as nice as this one. Two books on Connecticut history. A Gladys Taber novel (memoir?), three Shutes I didn’t have in hardcover, a misc Michael Frayn, and a guidebook of ships.
The ship book is from the Observer guidebook series. I already have volumes on birds and flags. This cover on this one isn’t in the best shape, but the guts are good.
Since I’ve discovered that a branch or two of my family was in Connecticut as early as 1629, I’ve been interested to find out more about its history. These two were on the $3 racks outside the store.
And another map for end papers. This time showing my ancestral stomping grounds in and north of Hartford.
Two of three Shutes had this bookplate and what appears to be some sort of cataloging system. Perhaps ‘F’ for fiction followed by the number assigned to this volume?

16 thoughts on “Brattling my way home

  1. Jennifer December 12, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    Brattle Book Shop is wonderful, isn’t it? I am very envious of your stack of Thirkells. What gorgeous old hardcovers. I love their outdoor section. You can find some real treasures. I do feel like every time I am there it is either blazing hot or frigidly cold which makes it hard to enjoy browsing. I guess I’ll just have to keep going back which is no hardship at all.


  2. Claire (The Captive Reader) December 12, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Wow. Any store that stocks so much Thirkell, Trollope AND Shute would do desperate damage to my luggage too. Thank goodness for shipping!


    • dhanff December 13, 2017 / 7:09 am

      Wow. I would love to spend a day at The Brattle. So that’s the origin of Hogglestock. I thought it had something to do with farm pigs! ❤️


  3. BookerTalk December 13, 2017 / 1:30 am

    Serious shopping indeed but wh could possibly resist those gorgeous Thirkell editions.


  4. Lisa December 13, 2017 / 8:05 am

    Once again I am feeling some serious bookstore envy. The Thirkells alone – and you have two of my favorites, The Brandons and Growing Up. Not to mention a favorite Trollope (Is He Popenjoy) and Shute (Trustee from the Toolroom).

    I lived in Massachusetts for 2 years and came to Boston often but sadly didn’t even know Brattle Book Shop existed – which was probably just as well on my grad-school shoestring budget.


  5. winstonsdad December 13, 2017 / 8:49 am

    What great finds Thomas love those endpapers something missing on the whole from modern books is stunning endpapers


  6. Geoff W December 13, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Brattle is such a great shop, did you make it to the top floor with the rare books? Sometimes I just go up to sit there for a few minutes. It’s not my favorite store in the Boston area, but the owner was super friendly and truly loves books and encouraging others to collect their passion and not necessarily for value.


  7. cindy fried December 13, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    What a good haul. I love endpapers and maps – heaven. Read that Michael Frayn a couple of years ago – how Fleet Street used to be full of drunken journos (allegedly!) before automation/Rupert Murdoch.


  8. Kim December 13, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Oh my! What a wonderful time you must have had. Before I became obsessed with buying used books, I was in Boston for a conference and stumbled upon and was intrigued by the outdoor section of that very bookstore. I recognized it from your photo! Now if I were there and did that stumbling I’d probably have to miss part of the conference to go back and buy a bunch of books. :-)


  9. Liz Dexter December 14, 2017 / 4:44 am

    Great haul!! I love the Thirkells in particular, and all the endpaper maps! Heaven! I love Observer’s Books and could easily collect them, however there are hundreds. Even an Observer’s Book of Observer’s Books!


  10. Susan in TX December 14, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Wow, that’s an exceptional haul. The Thirkells are lovely, but to also find a Gladys Taber put the stack over the top for me. Happy Reading!


  11. Karen (bookishnyc) December 14, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    The planets must be aligned or something…Just last week, in the face of a rather trying holiday season, I decided to do a “comfort re-read” straight through Thirkell’s Barsetshire books to help me through. I blew through “High Rising,” just finished “Wild Strawberries,” and am on to “The Demon in the House.” Happy reading!


  12. Sarah Faragher December 15, 2017 / 11:01 am

    Lovely haul from Brattle – it’s been far too long since I’ve been there, so this vicarious visit is much appreciated. Have found wonderful things in the alley, especially amongst the dollar and two-dollar books. Sometimes I’d buy a few just for the booksellers’ tickets within (as if loving books isn’t enough, I also love book-related ephemera). Thanks Thomas, and happy holidays to you and your family.


  13. Richard December 15, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    As soon as I saw your photo of Brattle I realised that I’ve been there. It was the outdoors carts that jogged my memory. My parter and I stumbled across it when we were in Boston a few years ago. I think, from memory, that I only bought a couple of books because of the cost of getting them back to Australia. Great shop! Nice Trollope haul there. Those ones are all hard to get hold of.


  14. Jeane December 17, 2017 / 8:46 am

    Very nice! I thought peace breaks out was by john knowles, but hey I guess there’s multiples of the same title of many books.


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