A little diversion…


It’s been a couple of years since I visited Norwich, but as Youngest Child wanted to pop up and attend some kind of gaming event that’s been going on, I decided to go along on the train with her and spent a happy Saturday having a day out!

Of course, I did have an ulterior motive…. For while YC was doing her thing, I got the chance to wander round the bookshops of Norwich – a most enjoyable pursuit with pleasant results!

norwich buys

Of course, Norwich is home to the wonderful Book Hive and I spent some time browsing there. They do have excellent stock but I exercised restraint and simply purchased three Penguin Little Black Classics from the new range. I do have a lovely Faber Emily Dickinson collection somewhere but I simply can’t find it….

new LBCs

There were a number of charity shops in the city centre, and also an Oxfam and the City Bookshop, though none of those had anything to tempt me. I then headed off down a side road to a bookshop I’d read about online, JR and RK Ellis. This turned out to be lovely – a proper, old-fashioned second-hand place, stacked with piles of books and all sorts of interesting volumes. In the end I only picked up one book:

wolf solent new

I do have another copy of this, but it’s old and small and hard to read plus I wanted the A.N. Wilson introduction this edition has. Hopefully, with a physically easier to read copy I shall have no excuse not to get started on John Cowper Powys.

And the there was Jarrold, the lovely traditional department store (love its architecture). I had been looking for a particular book in the Norwich Waterstones and they didn’t have it (tush!) so I thought I’d pop into the Jarrold book section – which turned out to be in their basement, was absolutely lovely and very well stocked. And had the book I was after!

lem star diaries

With the sun shining and a very tasty lunch at the Wild Thyme vegetarian cafe (highly recommended!), it turned out to be a fab day out in Norwich – with some nice bookish finds thrown in!

A Happy Weekend with Books!


As if to compensate for the fact that there was a vast lack of green Viragos on my jaunt to Chelmsford last week, I stumbled on two bargains in the first charity shop I stepped into on Saturday!

I’ve left the price sticker on the first for this photo, as it has to be seen to be believed:


Yes, 50p for a lovely old green copy of “The Brontes Shopped at Woolworths” – truly surprising, but I’m not complaining!

Eagle-eyed Youngest Child spotted the other one:

This Willa Cather isn’t a title I know anything about, but it sounded intriguing and at the grand sum of £1, definitely worth a punt, as they say!

I’m not quite sure why my local charity shops should be quite so blessed with Virago volumes – but I’m not complaining…. 😉

I did grab a third book in another store:


I’ve read about this Murdoch on a few blogs and I think it will be a case of either  love or hate!

(I also picked up a couple of Russian – real Russian! – vinyl records on the Melodiya label from the Oxfam – but that’s another story!)


On Sunday, I lost my lie-in, as Youngest Child insisted on trekking off to Norwich to attend a book signing by her favourite author, Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant). It’s not as if she hasn’t been to three other signings/events already…. However, I didn’t mind a day out, even though it was a Sunday and I wasn’t sure what bookshops/charity shops might be open.

As it turned out, YC spent most of the day in the very nice Waterstones branch (lovely cafe and extremely helpful staff plus good stock!), met her author twice and also some other fans she knows. Meantime, I ambled off round Norwich a bit and found one open charity shop, which had this Virago:


Then, on exploring a little further, I found the City Bookshop which housed *lots* of nice goodies – including green and orange Penguin titles which I managed to resist. However, I did pick up an Oxford Classics volume of Chekhov’s early short stories which I’d heard recommended – only £1.99 and appeared like new:


The most fabby place I stumbled on, though, was the very amazing Book Hive, an absolutely lovely independent bookshop over three rickety floors in an old building. The variety of stock was amazing, and when I got up to the first floor, I was knocked out to find that they had a shelf of Persephones, one of Alma/Oneworld Classics, one of NYRB books, one of Capuchin Classics, and one of Hesperus Press volumes, as well as numerous other smaller publishers like Daunt and Pushkin Press scattered generally through the fiction. I hummed and hawed for ages and finally settled on buying a Brand New Book (as I feel places like this should be supported):


It was a difficult decision as to which one it would be, but this collection of Ivan Bunin’s short stories has been on my wish list for an age, so it won out! If you’re ever in Norwich, make sure you pop into The Book Hive – it’s one of the best bookstores I’ve seen in a long time…

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