Thursday, December 01, 2005


The book trade loves "memorabilia" - books about books and writers that are there as mere mementoes. Weirdly, though I hate these kind of books when they're touted as Xmas presents, (Little Books of Calms, Schott's and Shite's Miscelannies, Daisy Goodwin's poetry collections et al) I'm remarkably fond when they're the ephemera around my own literary interests. I've picture books of Fitzgerald, a "Kafka's Prague" bought in that city and now, Bruce Chatwin's Photographs and Notebooks. I don't know how this one ever passed me by? Its a real coffee table job; and whether the photos are good, bad or indifferent, somehow, since so much of his writing was around travel, it adds rather than subtracts. Hardly a bargain, at a tenner, but that's about the cheapest you'd find it on the net, and this was Oxfam Didsbury, where, clearly all my Christmasses are coming at once, I picked up Anthony Burgess's "A Shorter Finnegans Wake." If there was ever a book I didn't need, then its this one, but its a lovely sixties Faber paperback, and I'm ridiculously pleased at the find. I've bought half a dozen books this week, and all second-hand. I'm not sure I'll ever buy a new book again; so uninteresting are the high street selections; whereas go into any secondhand bookshop and you find these random gems.

1 comment:

Matthew Bamberg said...

I have Kafka's Prague. Nostalgia is a good seller, but there needs to be somthing more than just fond memories.