Last week I found myself passing by another bookshop in London and, naturally, I couldn’t stay away. I always find bookshops to be the most magical and calming places, but also the most dangerous; dangerous for my bank account and my poor shelves that are already groaning under the weight of all my other books!
“The Bookshop on the Heath” did not disappoint and within minutes my arms were full of a myriad of books (thankfully these were all second-hand so my bank account didn’t cry too much…)
The first book I picked up was a perfect copy of Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë. The copy is a Penguin Vintage Classic so the cover illustration is absolutely stunning! I’m a huge fan of both Emily and Charlotte Brontë, but I’ve never ventured into the works of Anne, so I figured that now was a perfect time to do so!
The next book I picked up featurres some more plays (The Night of the Iguana and Orpheus Descending) by one of my favourite playwrights; Tennessee Williams. I studied A Streetcar Named Desire at school and that quickly became my favourite play so I’m always eager to be immersed in more of his work. The smell of old books is definitely nostalgic for me and this copy does not disappoint on that front (the pages are almsot as yellow as the front cover!)
The third book I picked up was Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin. I’ll admit that, although I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen and wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about her life, it was the cover that actually pulled me in. This particular edition of the Penguin Celebrations Books are my absolutely favourites; they’re so simple but there’s something about the design that makes me want to collect all of them and then admire them on my shelf arranged by colour haha.
The next book had me very excited as it was a Dickens book that I don’t have in my collection yet (and believe me, I have a massive Dickens collection). This one is Barnaby Rudge and, going by the cover and the blurb, it seems to be about the Gordon Riots in London during the 1780’s. I think I’ll definitely need to brush up on my London history before reading this to get the full experience and context of the novel! That’s something I love about reading Dickens; you have to read about the history to be able to completely read the story.
I also picked up The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I’ve got to come clean here and admit that I only really know about this book through watching Easy A haha! I know this book caused a massive outrage when it was published in the 1850’s and was censored on sexual grounds. I think it’s going to be really interesting to read this book in the 21st century and try and understand why people were so morally against the story and why it was consequently banned.
I reckon I’ve saved the best for last with this vintage copy of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens; an absolute classic and story that everybody knows. Oddly enough the spine of this book is what attracted me to this copy the most but, upon opening it, I saw that, scrawled on the inside of the front page, was a note from 1939. I immediately fell in love with this litte personal touch, it made it feel so pure and I’m still wondering whether Mattie (or Hattie, can’t quite read it) loved the book from Marion they received on the 16th January 1939…
I cannot wait to get cosy with a massive cup of tea and make a start on all these new books! I’m sure there will be a few reviews coming soon.