I still haven’t told you about my latest trip to The Book Affair! I have been to it twice before, which I have talked about here and here, but it recently moved and was rediscovered by my Gran. We went exploring its new location on Kensington Road last weekend.
In my eyes, it is even better than before – for one thing, it feels larger – there is one big room of books, then another room, then another, and possibly another until you finally reach – a whole room dedicated just to children’s books! Walls are lined with second-hand and antiquarian children’s fiction, there is a whole bookcase of children’s poetry, old pop up books, picture books, children’s ‘classics’, illustrated children’s classics, non-fiction, myths and folklore, encyclopaedias… I couldn’t think of a better place to spend a Sunday morning.
If you have read about my previous visits to the bookshop, you might remember that on my first visit, I found beautiful blue cloth-bound editions of three of E. Nesbit’s books. I was desperate to own them, but was running low on cash at the time, and only bought one – ‘The Story of the Treasure Seekers’. I was sure that I would never see the other two books again.
Several months later, I visited the bookshop for a second time. To my surprise and delight, the two books were still sitting on the shelf! I had to buy another one. I became the proud owner of ‘The Pheonix and the Carpet’.
This visit, a good four or five months since my last, and in a different location, I didn’t think to try my luck – I was certain the last blue cloth-bound book, ‘Wet Magic’, would have disappeared.
Lo and behold, there it was, sitting on the shelf, all by itself, its two sisters having abandoned it to live in my bookcase. It was almost like it was waiting patiently for me. I felt like I was in a story myself – it seems so unlikely that I was going to have the trio, having bought the first one over six months ago. But there it was. I had to buy it.
So now I have all three of these beautiful books. They were published in 1944 – 45, and were all owned by the same little girl – her address is neatly printed in the front of each book. I’m glad that, even if I had to separate them for a little while, they all went to the same home. (I feel as if I sound like I’m talking about puppies that I didn’t want to separate, rather than books. But I somehow feel that these books had feelings too, and they didn’t want to be without their friends).
I also bought a lovely edition of ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ by A. A. Milne, ‘The Princess and the Goblin’ by George MacDonald, and ‘Truckers’ by Terry Pratchett. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten to read any of them yet, as I’m still stuck on ‘The Coral Island’. I don’t know how I’m going to choose what to read next.