There was much bookish excitement at the Ramblings over the weekend, as Saturday saw a lovely trip to London to meet up with some fellow book-lovers! One of the ladies from the Virago Modern Classics LibraryThing group, Laura, was over from America visiting family – so what better excuse for a LT get-together? I must confess this was my first – and I really hope it won’t be my last, as it was such fun!

Of course, apart from the book buying, the nicest part was meeting people in real life that I only knew as names and blogs – including Laura, of course, who was one of my first blog contacts, plus Heavenali and Simon Stuck-in-a-Book. It was great to know we could all chunter on about books in person just as easily as we could online!

As well as a delicious lunch in a wonderful restaurant called The Old Dutch Pancake (yum!), there was of course a little book buying in the various shops we visited – and here are my finds in order of emporium:

Firstly Foyles (I *love* that shop!) – some volumes I’ve been after for a while, including a complete collection of Borges’ fictions – only available complete in an American Penguin edition for some reason? Plus another in the Neversink Llibrary series, this time a Mary McCarthy.

Next, Any Amount of Books, and some bargains! The Aldiss was only £1 from the bargain bin, and the Richardson is an early Virago I’ve never actually got round to acquiring.

After that, Henry Pordes, where Simon kindly (!) pointed me at some Barbara Comyns books. I didn’t have Skin Chairs, but when I got home realised I *did* have  A Touch of Mistletoe – however, the new volume is in much better condition so I don’t really mind!

We all needed lunch and a sit-down after that (well, I know I did!) and luckily The Old Dutch Pancake was on the way to our next port of call – the Bloomsbury Oxfam bookshop:

A couple of small and reasonably priced finds here – including a Kay Boyle Virago I’ve wanted for a while, and a lovely old hardback version of One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes (thanks again Simon, for pointing it out – you are a *bad* influence!)

Once we escaped from the Oxfam (with the staff calling after us to “Come again, ladies!”), it was a short hop to the London Review of Books shop. I get emails from them all the time with news of lovely events, but had never visited the shop. And it was *very* hard to resist all the wonderful new books there, but I contented myself in adding a lot of titles to the wish list…

And finally, to the Persephone Shop:

Here, I was remarkably restrained as I have quite a number of Persephones on Mount TBR – so I contented myself with picking up some missing bookmarks for my second-hand volumes. It’s very hard not to get carried away in the Persephone  Shop…

However, these were not all as one of our number, the lovely Luci, had brought along bags and bags of spare books to offer around – so generous:

Both of the Thirkells come from her – thank you *so* much Luci! And the Muriel Spark was a spare from Simon, for which many thanks Simon! I *did* take a couple of spares to give away myself, so at least the shelves may not groan *too* much!

I had an amazing day out on Saturday and met some fabulous people – truly, I think the people on the LibraryThing Virago group are the loveliest! Here’s to next time!