Despite all my wonderful resolutions to read from my stacks and not buy any more books for a while, things are not going to plan – well, they never do with me and books and reading, do they? I have had a couple of volumes arrive via ReadItSwapIt this week, but things complicated a little today when I popped into the Big Town. I hadn’t been round the charity shops much recently owing to Christmas, family illnesses and visiting offspring. However, I was resolved not to do a big sweep, and even popped into the library to return some volumes – and happened to catch sight of a copy of Stella Gibbons’ “Nightingale Wood” for sale – a Virago volume I don’t have and for 40p found impossible to resist….

Nestling next to it in this unpleasantly fuzzy picture (I really must get my camera sorted out!) is a very nice old Penguin of Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” – I’ve seen the film many times but never read the book and since I love classic sci-fi so much, I thought it was a must.

The Verne came from the Oxfam book shop, which has unfortunately had a bit of a re-stock in its Modern Classics and Classics section – so I had to exert quite a lot of will-power not to come out with a bag full of books. However, I *did* make an exception for “A Pound of Paper” – written by John Baxter, whose “The Most Beautiful Walk in the World” I just read and reviewed, and subtitled “Confessions of a Book Addict”. Maybe it will have some advice to help me deal with *my* addiction?

Today’s last acquisition “All Saints Eve” is a collection of stories billed as the precursor to Agatha Christie – and I confess to never having heard of or read Amelia B. Edwards, but for ยฃ1.75 I’m prepared to take a punt. This last book came from the lovely Samaritans book cave, where I dropped in for a browse and chat with the friendly staff.

Unfortunately, all this has messed with the plans for reading and the little shelf of books I notionally had put aside for current reading. I’ve already gone off at a bit of a tangent, as there are a couple of books I just read awaiting review which weren’t planned for, and I’m now 100 pages into this:

I picked up “Life: A User’s Manual” last year at the Oxfam and decided I needed something unusual and substantial recently – so far it fits the bill admirably!

So, now the current pile of possibles looks like this:

Top is the Perec I’m currently reading. Then we have today’s acquisitions, followed by MacLaren-Ross’s “Of Love and Hunger”, “The Leopard”, Compton Mackenzie’s “Sinister Street”, Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot” (I’m thinking of a readalong with jackiemania), “Manon Lescaut” (RISI) and Chekhov’s “The Russian Master” (RISI). Phew!

I really must try to concentrate on one book at a time… :s