Monday 9 September 2013

The Secondhand Bookshops of Suffolk (and Essex), or, Wot Me and Rachel and Little Edie Did on Our Summer Hols, 2013 Edition

Back from a week's holiday in the wilds of Suffolk, much of which, you'll be unsurprised to learn, involved me dragging Rachel – my long-suffering partner – and little Edie – our near-four-month-old daughter – round a succession of secondhand bookshops (and one book fair) in various far-flung East Anglian villages and towns – usually on the pretence that said villages and towns were "really picturesque, honest love" (which, to be fair, most of them were). After previous such jaunts I've posted lengthy photo essays depicting our – as in, mine and (often reluctantly) Rachel's – adventures (Edie being a more recent addition), but this time I'm going to break it up a bit, either by town, or by bookshop, or in some exceptional cases by individual books bought – reason being, it strikes me that I still haven't got round to blogging about a good number of the bloody books I bought on our holidays three years ago, and since I've no idea when I'll get round to blogging about them, on this occasion I'm inclined to unveil all of my purchases, rather than, as before, simply post a picture of a big pile of books.

Mind you, there is quite a pile to unpick (not to mention unpack) this time, comprising all manner of first editions and signed editions and spy fiction and crime fiction and non-fiction; although it has to be said it's almost eclipsed by Edie's pile:

which, as you can see, comprises not only fine volumes featuring Noddy, Big Ears and Tiny Ted, but a print for her nursery wall too.

You'll be seeing much more of Edie – and occasionally Rachel – in the ensuing Suffolk-based posts, but before we'd even got as far as Suffolk we managed to squeeze in a visit to a secondhand bookshop I'd been meaning to check out for ages:

Othello's, on the way to Leigh-on-Sea, near where Rachel's folks live in Essex. Not a bad shop as it turned out; prices were reasonable, and though much of the stock of modern firsts (my area of interest) looked like it had been there for a while, there was certainly a lot of it, and I managed to emerge clutching three books (plus one for Edie; see the bottom book in her pile above, The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast) which took my fancy:


British first editions/first impressions of Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs (Heinemann, 1989), Peter Cheyney's Dark Bahama (Collins, 1950) and Elmore Leonard's Touch (Viking, 1988). However, as I would soon discover, there was even better to come in Suffolk...


  1. Too cute! Good to see you are exposing her to the book-collecting bug early!

  2. What a cute lil' dumpling. Can't wait to see the rest of your book finds, too.

  3. Glad to see you managed to get all your favourite things (and people) in one blog

  4. Thanks for the comments, all. This is only the beginning...