The Biggest Book Haul Ever?

My days of basking in ample shelf space may be over. I still have to venture into the dark recesses of my loft, but I nevertheless managed to fill in all available gaps buying books as if there were no tomorrow. Att the same time, my boys and I are such a constant fixture at our local library that we think they might start dusting us down together with the furniture.

Since moving back to Britain, I’ve bought 20 books (and I’m not counting the review copies I’ve received). That’s nearly 3 per week on average, but actually works up to more than that, as the first three weeks I was out of action, still travelling and nowhere near a bookshop. So it’s really 20 books in 4 weeks, which (with the most fancy mathematical footwork in the world) still comes to 5 a week. Madness, I tell ye, madness! (But probably to the delight of booksellers in London).

The Visible...
The Visible…

Initially, I thought there were just 14, most of which I bought in Waterstones Piccadilly when I attended a few events there. These include: Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter; The Outrun by Amy Liptrot; How to be Brave by Louise Beech; Breach (Refugee Tales) by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes (Peirene Press), because they are all heart-wrenching and therefore very much suited to my current state of mind. Poetry, of course, because that is not so easy to find abroad: The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy; Bloodaxe Books’ Staying Alive anthology; the winner of the Forward Prize 2016 Vahni Capildeo and the Best First Collection winner Tiphanie Yanique (not so much because they are winners, but because they write about gender and expatriation, two subjects so dear to my heart); and the enigmatic Rosemary Tonks. Finally, to round off my bookshop extravaganza, I also bought Teffi’s Subtly Worded, after so many of my favourite bloggers recommended Teffi.

I’ve always been a Jean Rhys fan and own most of her books in slim Penguin editions from the 1980s, But one can never have too much of a good thing, so, following the #ReadingRhys week, I’ve bought a collected edition of her early novels (Voyage in the Dark, Quartet, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie and Good Morning, Midnight), her letters and a biography by Lilian Pizzichini.


Then there are the random books I bought off Amazon (I try to limit my purchases there, but occasionally get distracted): a collected edition of some of Margaret Millar’s best novels; Super Sushi Ramen Express by Michael Booth, because I love Japan, its food and travelogues in general; Get Published in Literary Magazines by Alison K. Williams because… well, I keep on trying.

Finally, there are the ebooks, which I barely even count anymore, as they are not so ‘visible’. I’ve downloaded two Tana French books (because I’ve only read two of hers and want to try more). I couldn’t resist the offerings of two of my online friends: an escapist love story set in Provence by Patricia Sands and pre-ordering Margot Kinberg’s latest murder mystery.

wp_20160920_13_33_02_richLet’s not forget the ARCs I’ve received, and my book haul is even greater than the one in Lyon earlier this year. I’m behind with reviewing the atmospheric The Legacy of the Bones by Dolores Redondo, so I hope Harper Collins are patient. Thank you to Orenda Books, who sent me Louise Beech’s The Mountain in My Shoe, Michael J. Malone’s A Suitable Lie and Agnes Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal (transl. Rosie Hedger), which all look very promising indeed. And, after quite a deep chat with Zygmunt Miłoszewski earlier this week, I can’t wait to read his book Rage, so thank you Midas PR  for providing me with a copy of that!

wp_20160922_20_37_52_proAs Stav Sherez was saying last night at Crime in the Court: Twitter is an expensive habit, as it’s full of book recommendations from people whose opinion you respect. (Yes, I still blame him and Eva Dolan for half of my noirish purchases.)

I dread to add up the exact amount I spent, but if we calculate an (underestimated) average of £5 per book, you realise the full extent of my folly! It takes no great psychologist to realise that there is something deeper at work here beneath my simple and pleasurable book addiction.




42 thoughts on “The Biggest Book Haul Ever?”

  1. What a lovely haul of books, Marina Sofia! And after all, what sort of a home is it without a lot of books? And oh, how seductively easy it is to ‘click here’ to just add one more…

  2. That is quite a haul, Marina. Delighted to see Rhys in amongst the others in your pile – the letters sound fascinating, don’t they?

    Hope you enjoy the Teffi too, one of my favourite discoveries in recent years. 🙂

  3. It is often said that the best things in life are FREE. And so it goes with me. As a Book Reviewer with 405 books reviewed on Amazon-US I’ve seldom had to pay for a single book.

    This is partly due to a policy I have in not accepting request to do a review. I basically enter giveaways/contests which are offering books I’m interested in reading; and other contests which offer romance books [my favorite genre as it’s the genre I write for].

    As a result I’ve accumulated the same kind of variety of books as has the owner of this blog. I love the printed variety of books, especially if they’ve been personally signed to me, followed by signed non-personalized copies, followed by plain unsigned copies. ARCs are can be fun, especially when you’ve got blank pages where things like an index should be. I hesitated reading e-books since I didn’t own a KINDLE nor was I ever inclined to buy one, but when I discovered Amazon offers a FREE App for my computer I jumped at the opportunity to download it.

    If I hadn’t downloaded this App, my dear OH had threatened to throw ALL of my books in the garbage; something which could have ruined our happy marriage of over 22 years.

    I currently have about 10 books on my TBReviewed pile which as a voracious reader/reviewer I plan to devour in almost as many days; provided my dear OH doesn’t ask me for too many services. !!! 😀 😀 😀

    Have a GREAT WEEKEND with your families !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    O X O X O X

    Robin Leigh

    1. I buy as many on Kindle as I buy physical copies. And I do get a lot of free books, so it’s a never-ending shelving problem. I do find that some of the free ones are not exactly to my taste, and that I always crave those more difficult to locate books rather than just new releases.

  4. Just don’t talk to me about book madness! I’ve had to do another massive book cull in readiness to relocate and it was like choosing your favourite child. Another 500 out of the door, but so, so, many remain…. (Bought another three today…oops)

    1. You are absolutely right – and the poetry books are seldom below £10. I did buy the Jean Rhys ones second-hand for instance (I believe they are out of print), so it was a very rough and underestimated average. And I haven’t yet hit the charity shops in town!

  5. That’s a fantastic haul of books, something to sustain you over winter. Book temptation is why I am a member of 2 libraries. Hope you enjoy reading. The Bloodaxe collection is brilliant, as is The Outrun.

    1. I was a member of 5 libraries in France and still managed to buy a fair amount. Clearly, it’s my one temptation (it used to be shoes or make-up, but I can’t be bothered about those anymore).

    1. Don’t rub it in! But I’ve just been let lose in a sweet shop, after 5 years of abstinence, right? (Well, I did buy loads of French and even English books while I was abroad, but still…)

  6. Free books are fine, but buying them adds that extra thrill of guilt (the money! The TBR pile!). I’m a book addict too and there’s nothing like hauling that pile home and leaving it on the kitchen table for a while. Christmas!

  7. Hey, you don’t get a lot of make up or many pair of shoes for the amount you just spent. See, obsessive reading is not such an expensive addiction compared to other supposedly female addictions. (I can’t be bothered with make up or shoes either, as you know)

    I always wonder how you find the time to read so much.

    1. To be honest – and I find it very surprising – I am struggling a little at the moment to read as much. I’ve had even more things going on than usual, so it’s been hard to read guilt-free, when I feel I should be job-hunting or finding about the children’s exams etc.

  8. Hi Marina Sofia, did my publisher ever send you a copy of The Disobedient Wife? I seem to recall that you said you would review it, but sometimes these things go astray… nice book haul!

  9. Shelf space! Actually space on shelves? I cannot imagine and have had none in years… Unless I were able to buy the house next door, knock threw a few walls that is not likely to happen.

  10. A post that really resonates with me! I have definitely run out of book space and I’m loathe to part with any that are already sitting tenants! I was only pondering this morning how I acquire even more books when I’ve not got time to read than when I’m reading more, it’s almost like a displacement activity. Your haul does look varied though and you have somewhat more of an excuse than I do.

  11. What a wonderful way to celebrate you’re back in Britain, where I have seen crime fiction thrive as in no other place! Can’t wait to hear what you think about Redondo, as I’m very proud of a Spanish female author becoming a successful interanational best-seller.

  12. My dear! For the years of pleasure your blog has brought to me and the multitude of great reads you have recommended, I would happily have gifted you a copy! I’m honoured.

    1. But it’s my pleasure to get it! Now I just hope to find time to read it soon, for pleasure rather than with a reviewing deadline hanging over my head, like I do for some of the new releases.

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