My intention of working today has been balanced by the need to have some sort of weekend. I rose late but only after finishing New Grub Street
. George Gissing had a pessimistic outlook on human nature; the characters I felt led to support do not end well. Its lessons are still relevant, though.
Afterwards I went shopping in Woodstock. The stock of the secondhand bookshop in the former Savills office seems to have become more concentrated, but they still have a good range of old Penguin English Library and other series upstairs. Despite still having many other books to read (including a couple of William Morrises bought at St Mary Mags sale in Oxford over a year ago) I picked up a 1972 Penguin Modern Classics edition of The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories
and a 1970s printing of the Signet Classic version of Thoreau's Walden
(complete with a New English Library price sticker on the cover) for £1 each. The shop is a 'social enterprise' established to support the proprietor's charity interests, at the moment helping support a young woman in Africa through her education.
I then went on to The Woodstock Bookshop
, which still stands proud on our Oxford Street. I failed to buy anything, but can at least give them some publicity with this link; they have a strong children's section and also stock a good number of titles from smaller specialist imprints like Eland or Little Toller Books, and are worth visiting.ETA:
I didn't mention that one book I didn't get at the secondhand bookshop was a hardback of Mark Gatiss's The Devil in Amber
, complete with bookplate identifying it as a prize book awarded by a convent school. Lucifer Box would be entertained.