All the Books, or Je Ne Regrette Rien

I was making progress with my to-read pile. Really, I was. For the first time in years, it was less than half a shelf. Then I started telling myself that it was OK to buy any book from a charity shop if it was useful for work. Now look at it…


That’s not including e-books, things I’m partway through, anything that wouldn’t fit on the shelf, or my pile of comic books from the library. If I never enter another bookshop, library or Amazon page, I’ll still have enough reading to see me through to next winter.

In terms of my aim to reduce clutter, this is not a win. But can I ever really regret obtaining books? Of course not.

Also, don’t judge me for the Ross Kemp celebrity tie-in novelty history book. It’s a perfect source for my War History Online work. And the money went to charity. And… good, grief, I think I may have a problem.

Home, laden with books

I meant to come back from holiday with a smaller ‘to read’ pile than when I left. I really did. But then I remembered the excellent Oxfam book shop in St Ives, and it was so full of goodness…

Five more books than I meant to leave with
Five more books than I meant to leave with


Could you, in all good conscience, have left a charity shop without picking up their copy of one of Gideon Defoe’s brilliantly bonkers Pirates books? Or missed out on some interesting commentary on a fantasy classic? Or three whole specialists books on writing crime fiction?

Yes, I know I don’t write crime fiction, but my stories do sometimes feature crimes. It’s legit.

Then there was the Edge of the World bookshop in Penzance. An independent bookshop is a rare and precious thing, a truly excellent one doubly so. This place had a wonderful sign and window display, a fascinating selection of books on pirates of various eras, a small but well selected comics section, and a man behind the counter with a truly magnificent beard.

Craft time!
Craft time!


I felt it was my public duty to support them by buying something. Better yet they had one of Emilly Ladybird‘s steampunk craft books, which I’d been eyeing up for a while. I like steampunk, I like crafting, I like Ms Ladybird and I like the Edge of the World bookshop, so that’s a purchase made entirely of win.

I expect I’ll blog properly next week about some of these books, and maybe some other awesome stuff I saw in Cornwall. But for now this is mostly a reminder to myself – e-books may well be the future, but the present is littered with papery goodness.

And remember kids, there’s no such thing as ‘just a quick browse’ when it comes to good book shops.