The bookshops are open!

The shackles have been relaxed a little and the shops have reopened, including Waterstones the bookshop – yay!

I’ve just finished reading my 100th book of the year so what better way to reward myself than a little restocking. Three very different non-fiction books – a true crime, an autobiography and some history/politics.

I’m currently reading Dictators, by Frank Dikötter. It’s an examination of eight twentieth-century dictators. Fascinating stuff with astonishing parallels with the personality of the current American president. It’s enthused me to make an effort to read more history.

My local high street was heaving, due no doubt to the relaxing of the Covid restrictions as well as being not-long-to Christmas. And with Debenhams about to shut, the scavengers were out looking for a bargain.


A stroll around Dorking

A stroll around Dorking brought us across this unlikely town scene. I don’t think the sheep are permanent residents though I have seen them there on previous visits.

At the Oxfam Bookshop I was refused entry as I would have exceeded the ‘maximum of 2 customers’ restriction. They are also only accepting donations on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I have more than 30 books waiting to be donated which have accumulated over the lock-down.


Getting books during covid

In these difficult times I’ve been getting my reading material from different sources:

  • Re-reading books from my shelves
  • ebooks downloaded from my local library
  • Blackwell’s online bookshop

Today I ventured into our local Waterstones and came away with three books. I can’t say that wearing a mask for the length of time it takes me to browse is a pleasant experience, but it was fine. And it’s good to be back in a bookshop again!

As an aside I wasn’t sure whether I should use ‘ebook’ or ‘e-book’ in the text, but after looking up “E-book, ebook, eBook” on Grammarist, I decided to go with ‘ebook’.


Getting rid of books

Not being able to browse bookshops, I’m getting my reading material by downloading e-books from the library and by re-reading books from my shelves. Once read I would normally hang on to a book only if it’s received my ‘highly recommended’ stamp of approval or, exceptionally, a ‘recommended’ one. But with the passage of time the shelves are bursting and I’ve decided that any book I re-read I will dispose of. There may be exceptions.

It’s too much hassle to try to resell books online and too little money to be gained so I take books to my local Oxfam Books. A book given to a charity can often be sold several times over since there’s a strong likelihood that books bought from a charity shop will be donated back to the same shop. This is clearly good for the charity, though less good for the author of the book. I don’t know whether that should bother me.

Do I know you? & The man with a tail

On the train to Dorking I really got into James Rhodes’ Fire On All Sides – this is going to be a great read. I took a dozen books to the Oxfam bookshop and bought three (A Gate at the Stairs – Lorrie Moore, The King is Dead – Jim Lewis, and the non-fiction The Death of Expertise – Tom Nichols). I deserved the coffee and pain au chocolat at the very pleasant Dorking Deli. Incidentally there’s an amazing bike shop just a couple of doors down. Continue reading “Do I know you? & The man with a tail”