Jan 31, 2008

Scotland! And a Whole Lot of New Books

First of all, I wanted to let you know that I’m going to be absent from the blogging world for a week or so. Tomorrow my boyfriend and I are going to Inverness, Scotland for the weekend. After last December, I just had to return to Scotland as soon as I had the chance. Our plans include visiting the city’s castle and museums, and also taking a small cruise on Loch Ness, visiting Urquhart Castle, and the Loch Ness Monster exhibition centre at Drumnadrochit.

We'll be back from Scotland on Monday, but then on Tuesday we’re off again, this time to Wales. My boyfriend has some friends there, and we’re staying with them for the rest of the week. A lot of comings and goings, I know, but this is our last month here, so we have to make the most of it. I promise to post pictures when I get back.

Meanwhile, I am almost done with Michael Chabon’s Summerland, so maybe I’ll get to post my review before I go. I really hope I can manage to at least finish the book, because it’s a hardcover chunkster and I really don’t want to have to pack it. I’m thinking of taking Number the Stars and Powers to read on the trip (for the Margaret A. Edwards and Theme Reading Challenges), and maybe also Click, the book I got at the library the other day. I'm not sure how much actual reading I'll get done, but that's another story.

Secondly, I was inspired by Chris to confess. You know that New Year resolution not to buy any more books that so many of us took? Well, that went well for the first two weeks of January. In my defence, I had a very specific reason not to buy any more books: I knew that I couldn’t afford to carry any more weight in my luggage when I went back.

But then my parents decided to visit me here on the last weekend of January. Between the two of them, they were allowed 50kgs of luggage, which is much more than one needs for a weekend. So they offered to take some of my things back to Portugal. With transportation problems out of the way, I went a little crazy. But again, I have a good excuse. At the end of February I’ll be moving back, and then there will be no more library, no more library sales, no more charity shops, no more used bookstores. I’ll have to go back to ordering all my books online. So it makes sense to hoard books while I can, especially if they are challenge books that I'd have to buy at some point this year anyway. Without further ado, here’s the frighteningly long list of books I bought in the last week and a half or so. Most of these are used, but all are in great condition. None cost more than £2, and some cost as little as 50p.
  • Voice of Our Shadow by Jonathan Carroll – because I’ve been meaning to read more by this author for ages.
  • Going Solo by Roald Dahl - a sequel to his childhood autobiography Boy, which I loved. It fits into my plans for reading more non-fiction this year.
  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - for my mutual challenge with Rhinoa.
  • Fantastic Stories by Terry Jones - Terry Jones of Monty Python fame has written a number of children's books. I've read Fairy Tales and The Saga of Erik the Viking and I loved them both.
  • Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean - hardcover, good as new and only £1! How could I resist!
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - part of my list of 25 books to read in 2008.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore - I've been meaning to read some Alan Moore for ages. This will be a nice extra for the Graphic Novels Challenge.
  • Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman - How am I to resist a book I have not yet read by one of my favourite authors for only £1.5?
  • The Girl Who Married a Lion and Other Folktales from Africa by Alexander Mccall Smith - perfect for the next Once Upon a Time Challenge.
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri - for the Pulitzer Project (I really need to stop slacking when it comes to that one.)
  • Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally - for the Booker Challenge.
  • In a Free State by V.S. Naipaul - same as above.
I'm afraid that's not all yet. The other day we took a day trip to Birmingham, and I discovered the most awesome discount bookstore EVER. It was right by the train station, and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the perspective) I only noticed it some 20 minutes before we were supposed to take the train back to Nottingham. I was limited by time and by the fact that I only had £5 with me and no time to run to the ATM. I'm afraid that things might have got out of hand otherwise. Almost all the books in the store were either £1 or £1.5, and they had such cool ones. They had most of the Canongate Myth series, for example. They had the beautiful black-covered Headline editions of Neil Gaiman's novels - my boyfriend got American Gods for £1.5. I was not aware that this edition was 14000 words longer than the normal one, and I've let him know that he has to let me borrow it for my next re-read. They also read the hardcover edition of Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill - I've read it, but it was a library copy, and this is a book I want to own. Sigh. Let me tell you what I did get:
  • The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin - Canongate Myth series.
  • A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong - same.
  • Weight by Jeanette Winterson - same. This one I have read (and I loved it), but it was a library copy, and I want to own all the books in this series.
  • The Knight by Gene Wolfe - I've been meaning to read this and The Wizard for so long. I know there's an edition with the two in one volume, but the first one is chunky enough that I think it's a good idea to get them separately. The fact that it cost £1.5 helped too.
There. I didn't count how many books that was. Please don't tell me.


  1. First, I'm so jealous. I have always wanted to go to Scotland. Oh well, one day...Next, I absolutely understand and agree with your logic. It was almost a duty to buy those books. Have fun on your trip!

  2. Ah, Nymeth...we need a support group :p I'm laughing out loud over here. Seriously, who are we trying to kid making such silly resolutions? Great buys!! Can't wait to see what you think of all of them.

    And back to Scotland?! I'm jealous too! Have tons of fun. I've always wanted to go to Wales to, so take lots of pictures. I'll live vicariously through those.

  3. Where are you going in Wales? Hope the weather improves by next week, as by all accounts it has been pretty awful today - bridges closed etc.

    I have yet to read Voice of Our Shadow, but I'm thinking of going on a serious Carroll binge soon as I really want to read more of his work.

    Going Solo is great, I hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks to Carl, Anne of Green Gables is a childhood favourite that I will definitely be revisiting this year. I did see a boxset of all the books on Amazon, so I'm thinking I might pick that up soon.

    The Saga of Erik the Viking is awesome! I loved that book.

    The discount bookshop sounds great!

  4. O-M-G!!! LOL Now all you have to do is figure out which one to read first!.. somehow I don't think that will be any easy task! hahaha

    oh man.. have a wonderful time in both Scotland and Wales!! Take many wonderful photo's please!

  5. Lisa: It was my duty, wasn't it? :P I knew you guys would understand. And thanks, I will!

    Chris: We do, don't we? :P Ah well... buying books makes us happy, and there are MUCH worse addictions out there. It's not so bad. I'll take lots of pictures, of course!

    Quixotic: My boyfriend's friends live in Bala. They tells us it's not too far from the Snowdonia National Park, which I was really hoping to visit...but of course, it will depend on the weather :/ I really hope it improves! I need to read more Carroll too...I remember your review of The Land of Laughs - I've been meaning to pick it up ever since.

    Deslily: It won't be easy indeed :P I guess the ones I'll read first are the ones on my challenge lists. And if I join any more challenges this year I'll make sure to include these books on them. Thanks! I'll take lots of pictures!

  6. Nymeth, I'm so jealous!! I wish you can put me in a luggage and bring me along! LOL.

    I don't make resolutions, because I know I won't stick to them anyway. And of course there's no way I can stop myself from buying books, the temptation is just too great! You have a great list there by the way.

    Have fun and I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures! :)

  7. Scotland? How cool is that and I am completely jealous! Enjoy your trips!

    As for the books - they sound wonderful and as long as you got a good deal, what more can you ask for?


  8. Your buying of the books is perfectly logical. We'd think you silly if you didn't in those circumstances! :)
    Have a fantastic time in Scotland and Wales. We only went to Edinburgh in Scotland and never got to Wales, I'm very jealous. I look forward to seeing your pictures.

  9. Looks like you had some fun in the bookstores! For prices like that, who could expect you to resist?

    Have fun in Scotland again and Wales! I loved Wales as well. Oh, and be on the lookout for Loch Ness-I'll be expecting some photos. ;)

  10. Melody: lol, I'd definitely take you in my luggage if I could!

    CJ: Yup, exactly, and they were all excellent deals! Thanks! :)

    Tanabata: I knew you'd understand :P I'll post lots of pictures when I return.

    Eva: Indeed, how could I resist? :P I am looking forward to Wales. It's not a place I know much about, but the little I do know sounds wonderful. There will be photos, I promise! I just can't promise one of Nessie :P

  11. Well, resolutions are all about positive change, right? Saying "no" to all these wonderful books at such great prices, only to later have to pay much more for them, would not be a "positive" thing...don't you agree? Yep, you HAD to buy them.

    Have fun in Scotland and Wales...and know that some of us are feeling mighty envious! But are nonetheless looking forward to seeing you photos!

  12. Oh, Scotland and Wales! I'm jealous over here! :(

    But you have fun. *wave*

    But I'm always glad I'm in such good company when it comes to my Obsessive Compulsive Book Buying. Just bought 4 books today -- but it's allowed. 40% off at Borders

  13. Oooh, books on sale! Lovely stash there!

    Enjoy your break!

  14. Books and a trip - how perfect is this.
    Hope you and your boyfriend have a wonderful time on holiday. You'll have to share some pics when you return!

  15. I hope you have a wonderful trip, Nymeth. I didn't make any sort of goal or new year's resolution in regards to book buying because I knew I would fail miserably. Haha

    I actually hope to spend tomorrow weeding out some of my older TBR books that I no longer want to read. I'm not sure it will turn into a lot--probably very little in the end. :-)

  16. A very impressive haul of books there! I hope to read some of the myth series this year and I hope you enjoy The Other Boleyn Girl.

    Have a great time in Scotland and Wales. North Wales is one of my favourite places in the world and I hope to take my husband there on holiday later this year when it's a little warmer so we can camp out. Looking forward to hearing all about your holidays :)

  17. Have a fun time on your trip. It sounds like you have some great sightseeing planned.

  18. Oh so what! :) I have been beating myself up for buying and buying and buying books, but so what??? I love them, I want them, and there are worse things I could be spending my money on. So what if we have addictions that obviously can not be calmed. Is it hurting anyone?? Don't feel bad!! Really I'm just trying to justify the 3 books I bought in January.

    I'm looking forward to more Scotland pictures. Have a great time.


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