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!