Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A Perk of the Job

Warning! Second-hand book-shop in close proximity to new office alert!

Popped in to my new offices in Wimbledon today so that they could check my passport and make sure that I am not illegal and lo and behold, there is a really great bookshop just a short distance away called Copperfield's.

Actually I did spot it when interviewed (not that it influenced me in any way at all!) but resisted the urge to go in after telling myself I have too many books on my 'to read' pile already!

But today I wasn't so steadfast, and was drawn like a moth to a flame to their stack of Penguin Classics craftily placed by the entrance.

Copperfield's has all the hallmarks of an excellent second-hand bookshop - happily jumbled looking books stacked on a table outside, good prices and most of all that lovely lived-in feel and bookish smell which makes you feel you can browse for ages. Plus, just look at the signage, it just says 'come into our little treasure-trove!'.

I was fairly restrained and purchased two lovely Penguin Classics -

Savidge Reads got me into Susan Hill's creepy stories and blurb on the back of The Bird of Night, by Susan Hill (1976) made me think it might be an interesting little number for £1.
"Francis Croft, the greatest poet of his age, was mad. His world was a nightmare of internal furies and haunting poetic vision. Harvey Lawson watched and protected him until his final suicide. From his solitary old age Harvey writes this brief account of their twenty years together [secret gaylords perhaps?!] and then burns all the papers to shut out an inquisitive world."
Then I spotted The Bachelors, by one of my favourite authors Muriel Spark (1960). Not one I've heard of but had a fabulous cover and I love everything she writes. Plus it has a great plug on the back from Evelyn Waugh who writes;
"I am dazzled by The Bachelors. It is the cleverest and most elegant of all Mrs Spark's clever and elegant books."
Well, that convinced me to hand over my precious £1.50 and snaffle it into my handbag.

I always have the excuse that I need the reading material for my commute, plus I have discovered that there is a Lush in Wimbledon too. A book and a luxurious bath. What could be a better combination?

3 comments:

Paperback Reader said...

A fabulous perk to a new job indeed! There are hidden treasures to be discovered in second-hand book shops.

I too love Muriel Spark but hadn't heard of The Bachelors either. Both Virago and Penguin are reprinting her works over the coming months so hopefully this will be one of them.

I look forward to reading about future indulgences in the shop and seeing you at the next book group meeting.

savidgereads said...

Oh this could be dangerous and with me only just down the road and the Aladdins Treasure trove of Tooting Bec bookshop (which we are so going to tomorrow) it could all go too far. I need to read that Susans Hill book, plus Memento Mori! I am loving the fact we have the same slightly hideous and yet wonderful covered copy too!

verity said...

I haven't read that Muriel Spark but I agree that that is a lovely cover! I want that now.

It can be a big problem working close to bookshops...