I picked up this book the other day, but haven’t had the time to post about it yet. As soon as I saw the illustration on the spine I was drawn to it. Titled Masterpiece of Thrills, this book contains a collection of sixty dark short stories by various authors and thirty illustrations. Although it isn’t dated, searching on the internet leads me to believe it was published in 1936.
The book itself isn’t in great condition; the cover is torn and discoloured and there are pen marks both on the cover and on some of the pages. There is foxing throughout the book and the spine is rather on the fragile side on the inside, threatening to come loose at any point that you open the book too wide. However, the book is still very readable as long as you’re not too reckless with it.
It only cost me £3, which considering the size and age of the book, I thought was pretty reasonable. The black and white illustrations inside are of a really interesting style, and of course, of a grim nature to suit the stories told.
At the rate at which I’m buying books, I’m going to have to invest in a new bookcase! When they are such lovely and intriguing finds though, I’d rather get them than not and regret it later.
I spent way too much money today on books from the charity shop, but I fell in love with them all! The Oxfam bookstore is always a little pricier than other charity shop books, there were even a couple of books where the price made me think twice, but ultimately I bought them all. I didn’t want to regret not buying any, and they were all gorgeous books, despite some of them being a little worse for wear. They were also three for the price of two, so I can’t complain too much.
My young son was with me today and he asked me why I like old books as they’re “always ripped“. I hope one day he understands my fascination with older books! He was quite happy to leave with his pristine looking atlas book, whereas I left with my large bundle of faded, worn books that he had turned his nose up at.
I picked up the usual suspects that pique my interest; fables, folklore, legends, and of course, a healthy dose of Alice in Wonderland.
The first book I spotted, mainly because of its eye-catching spine, was My Book of Beautiful Legends. It’s a collection of stories from all around the world, retold by Christine Chaundler and Eric Wood, with illustrations by A. C. Michael. At £11.99, it was the priciest book I found today and given that it’s in poor condition and many of the pages plagued with foxing, I was on the fence about it for some time. In the end, this beautiful book won me over and found its way home with me. Having now discovered that it was published in 1916, I can see why it’s seen better days and I’m glad I bought it. It features some gorgeous colour illustrations inside and I love the range of short stories, covering things from Norse and Greek mythology, to well-known tales such as The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The next book I picked up was King Arthur and the Round Table by A. M. Hadfield. A lot cheaper than the previous find at £4.99, but still a bit more than I usually spend. Once again, this beautiful old book wormed its way into my heart despite its damp spots and musty smell. Published in 1953, this book features colour and black and white line drawings by Donald Seton Cammell.
I also picked up Stories From Grimm: Stories Old and New, published by Blackie & Son LTD. Publish date is unknown, regrettably, internet searches give varying dates. It’s missing its dust jacket, but still has a beautiful cream cloth cover with dark green print. It also features some beautiful colour illustrations. For £2.49, it was well worth picking up.
The Ever-Ever Land: Tales and Poems of Wonder, Truth and Surprise collected by Richard Wilson was a book that I didn’t know I wanted until I saw the vibrant, quirky illustrations inside and then I knew I had to have it. I loved the colour range used in the pictures and there’s just something really eye-catching and unique about them that I absolutely adored. £3.49 seemed like a decent price to pay for this beauty.
Last, but by no means least, I picked up two more copies of my favourite books! The first was Alice in Wonderland and Other Stories by Lewis Carroll, published by Odhams Press Limited circa the 1930s and featuring illustrations by Edgar B. Thurstan. It’s missing its dust jacket, which is a shame as looking at internet search results the cover looks gorgeous. At £2.49, this was an easy addition to my Alice in Wonderland collection. Finally, I picked up the lovely Alice Through the Looking Glass, published by Golden Pleasure Books in 1964. This vibrantly coloured picture book is in great condition and has some fantastic vintage artwork. It cost me £4.99, which is a little more than I usually spend on books. As I said before though, higher prices normally go with the territory of shopping in the Oxfam specialist bookstore and so I knew what I was getting myself into when I walked in. I’m just too spoilt by bargains found in other charity shops.
Overall, I’m really pleased with the collection of books I managed to find today. I’ll have to avoid the Oxfam bookstore for some time though, as it’s far too easy to spend money in there and I have bought so many books this month already!
It feels as though I’ve browsed through just about every local charity shop this week. Yesterday, I managed to pick up a few more books, including two worthy of mention. I am a massive Alice in Wonderland fan, and so I was really pleased to find the following:
A 1974 Alice in Wonderland Walt Disney Classic picture book with gorgeous vintage artwork. This beautiful book only cost £1.49, and in actual fact all the children’s books were three for the price of two, so I had an even better bargain with my overall haul. It’s in great condition and I really do adore the artwork style inside.
Secondly, I found this 1950 copy of Through the Looking Glass. The cover is a little warped and it has water marks on the back, but the pages inside are still in good condition and so its nice to flick through and see the John Tenniel illustrations. This one cost me £2.99, but considering I misread the pencil marking and thought it was £9.99, I was pleasantly surprised at the till!
Popped into town today and managed to pick up three books that caught my eye! I absolutely love books based on folk tales, ghost stories and fairy tales, so I generally look for these and the older the better in my opinion.
The first book I found was The Seventh Ghost Book. Regrettably, it was missing its dust jacket, but at £1 it was still a bargain! Originally published in 1971, this book holds a collection of spectral short stories by various authors, with the introduction by Rosemary Timperley. A quick google search shows there are other anthologies in the series, so I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for any further finds!
The next book I found was A Pocketful of Stories by Lilian McCrea, all for the paltry sum of 50p! Published in 1959, this book is a collection of short stories about animals, angels, fairies and witches, as the spine states. It has some lovely illustrations inside and came complete with its colourful dust jacket.
Lastly, and a bit different from my other choices, I picked up The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. A far more recent book first published in 2012. Something about it just caught my attention and as soon as I read that the story takes inspiration from a Russian fairy tale – I was sold! Afterall, you can’t go wrong for £1.
I often trawl the local charity shops to see what I can find. At the moment I’ve been buying up a lot of books, mainly titles I’ve already read and loved, but also keeping an eye out for anything awesome that might be lurking. Normally I count myself lucky to find a few favourites, or even a few favourites in hard back.
Well today, I found a hidden gem! This copy of The Land of Legends and Heroes by Stella Mead! Definitely my favourite find in quite awhile and it only cost me 49p!