My contribution to Daphne du Maurier Reading Week and other bookish treasures

I try very hard these days to avoid buying too many books. Don’t get me wrong – in my heart, I believe that there is no such thing as ‘too many books’. But the practicalities of life cannot be ignored and I am more inclined these days to favour having space in our apartment to spread out and read, rather than hundreds of books around to try and shelve.

Having said that, I occasionally let rip and have a splurge on new-to-me titles. Today was one such event.

Actually, I blame Ali over at HeavenAli, which is very unfair because it is her birthday today (many happy returns Ali!). She is celebrating her birthday, which she shares with Daphne du Maurier, by hosting a DDM reading week. I consider myself to be fairly well-read in general. But even so there are plenty of authors whose books I have not yet tried, and du Maurier is one of them. So when I was invited by a friend to look around the Christian Aid Book Sale in central Edinburgh, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to hunt down some DDM reading material.

I spent a very happy couple of hours browsing inside and out. It was such a lovely, friendly atmosphere:

 

 

The good news is that I was able to find reasonable copies of Jamaica Inn and Rebecca which I am very much looking forward to reading this week. The bad news from a shelving perspective is that I also found a few other titles which I could not resist……

 

Now, I would argue that this pile is, in fact, me showing restraint. Let loose among 100,000 books, I could have come home with many more titles. So I am going to allow myself to feel virtuous. 😇

I pounced on the three Orkney-related titles, and Winter Tales by George Mackay Brown because we are holidaying among the Orkney Islands later this year and I want to read up about them before we go.

I seized upon Sunset Song and The House With The Green Shutters because these are among some of the classic Scottish novels which I have wanted to read since we moved north and it is about time I got on with it.

And I am a big Carol Shields fan. I can’t remember having read The Republic of Love before and am sure I will enjoy it.

While chatting to one of the helpers at the book fair, I found out that the whole thing begins each year with a week-long gathering in of volumes which then get sorted ready for sale. So that gives me eleven months to identify some titles from my shelves to donate. Add to this my ambition to release some book crossing titles in the coming months and who knows – perhaps I will end up with fewer books overall. I know that my long-suffering Hub will approve of that, although he will believe it only when he sees it lol. 🙂

 

34 thoughts

  1. Very restrained, Liz! How fabulous to be going to the Orkneys. Please do a long blog about it when you get back. I’ve only come across George Mackay Brown’s poetry, which is limpid, and will be interested to hear about the book. You will love Jamaica Inn and Rebecca! Mary Yellan was always a bit of a heroine of mine growing up. A friend has just been reading The King’s General and greatly recommends it. The book fair looks amazing and I challenge you now to give them at least one more book than you buy or acquire, counting from 1 May 😎😎

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    • Thanks Liz – I have a feeling that I will be working my way through all of DDM’s writing, having dipped into the first few chapters of Rebecca – already hooked. I promise to write about Orkney in due course (how could I not?!). And I accept that challenge – if only for Steve’s sanity….! x

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  2. What a lovely haul, I am jealous! Du Maurier is one I have still yet to read but looking at those, I am excited to once again get involved with more books. I’m excited to hear your opinions on them!

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  3. What a great book sale, I love those markets. I did love Rebecca, when I found it in my mum’s bookshelf long time ago. I am going back soon and get more books as there are so many books there – Like my own library. Some are rather old and surely really good. Enjoy reading your ‘little’ lot!

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  4. I agree with everyone else! You are in for a real treat and in more ways than just one. Daphne Du Maurier books are a great read. The Orkneys are a marvellous place to visit and you are sure to enjoy your stay there. I went as a child and fully intend to return at some point. The books about Orkney will help you get in the mood for your explorations there. You were very sparing in the number of books you bought given the vast opportunities provided at the book sale.I think I will always find space for morebooks….even in the van…..my problem is I still have so many to read!

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    • I’m already very much enjoying Rebecca – as you say, its a cracking read. And I can’t wait to get to Orkney. We have previously been on the main island for very short visits, but this holiday will give us a chance to explore some of the other islands too. You are right that one can always find nooks and crannies for more books, although it is one thing to do that in an apartment, quite another in your van – bravo!!!

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  5. I agree with everyone else! You are in for a real treat and in more ways than just one. Daphne Du Maurier books are a great read. The Orkneys are a marvellous place to visit and you are sure to enjoy your stay there. I went as a child and fully intend to return at some point. The books about Orkney will help you get in the mood for your explorations there. You were very sparing in the number of books you bought given the vast opportunities provided at the book sale.

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  6. Rebecca?! Oh, boy! I loved it so, every time I’ve read it! We even made a point of walking, in Cornwall, near Menabilly, which was duMaurier’s home and the inspiration for Manderley, as well as to the church where she was married. Your love of reading is so apparent and that book sale must’ve made your heart sing! Re: the Orkneys–will you go to Skara Brae? I SO want to do that!

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    • That must have been a wonderful Cornish trip, Kerry. And re Orkney, yes we are staying near SB so will definitely be visiting it again. When we went the first time a couple of years ago it made a huge impact, such an amazing place. You must get there sometime!

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  7. That Carol Shields is new to me, Liz; I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it. But first some DDM 😀 You’ve picked up two of her most loved titles so that’s a good start. I do hope you enjoy Rebecca. Daphne is such a consumate storyteller and so strong on atmosphere. And she has a wide range of tales, well beyond the romantic ones. Enjoy! 🙂

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  8. What a wonderful book sale! I daren’t attend sales because I know I’ll succumb and come home with books and my husband will sigh and tell me how little space we have for them. I like Du Maurier’s writing and heartily recommend them all to you.

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  9. I fell in love with Daphne du Maurier when I was 15. It must have been the name “Rebecca.” It has the best opening paragraph. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited.” There is a profound, innate recognition of the way in which we relate to the past. Time is our lodge-keeper with a silent voice, we see empty rooms that once held energy and activity, and the padlock and chain obscure full recollection. It is simply brilliant opening. Have a wonderful time in Orkney. Looking forward to the photos.

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    • Isn’t it funny how you feel you know some books even if you have not read them. You are so right about that opening, which is so famous, yet wonderful to read in situ. I was instantly hooked and can’t now put the book down! xxx

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