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The State of 1898

23 Oct

It’s been a while since I did a post detailing a book haul, not that it happens to any bloggable extent these days but on the bus the other day I got an overwhelming urge to support the economy and naturally a bookshop stop or two is the best way to do such a thing.  Armed with some dodgy wi-fi and an intermittent wish list I went in search of books recommended by you and a smattering of wayward choices of my own.

BookDay1

Books chosen and it was off to The Hard to Find Café (which really doesn’t live up to its name any more) to have a proper look at the new treasures.  Reading those short grabs of reviews on the inside of the front cover is really exciting and to have that dilemma of which book to read, makes me appreciate not only the freedom of choice to study any idea I wish to but to express my thoughts without censorship, which is something I take for granted and really forget to appreciate most days.

I may be slightly biased but I can’t think of any other passion that has the same amount of depth and emotion and gives back ten fold anything put in and has the capacity to move a person as reading does. Despite all that ,there I sat contemplating life instead of this pile of fine literature before me.  Namely whereabouts is cheap to eat now I’ve spent quite a lot and more importantly could I get away with writing in a café all day as a job?

BookDay2

I picked up a couple of books later on that day from another shop, including the book on the left The Island of Gold which is a first edition from 1898, it’s not worth much in monetary terms (I checked naturally) but I like the feeling of holding something real, that’s old and still in good condition and ready for me to indulge in.

This book already has a history before I create my own with said bundle of leaves and its that touch of the past which gives the experience of exploring its contents so much more palpable a feeling, bridging between two times and perspectives on literature, life and what makes a good story.  Once again in these posts, I have to reiterate our luckiness as readers to be able to undertake an adventure in deeper ways than just the picking up of a book may suggest to the outside world.

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60 Comments

Posted by on 23/10/2015 in Fiction, Travel

 

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60 responses to “The State of 1898

  1. Jessica @ Like Bears to Honey

    23/10/2015 at 20:42

    What a great list of books! I also really want to read the Marlon James – you’ll have to let me know your thoughts!

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    • Ste J

      23/10/2015 at 20:46

      hello there, I started it a few days ago and am just over 100 pages through, it’s really good so far, there are plenty of characters and storylines, so much so that I almost started sulking when I decided to stop to write this post. It was tough choosing which to read, I think I looked odd continually picking books up and flicking through them for an hour over my coffee.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Jessica @ Like Bears to Honey

        23/10/2015 at 21:20

        That’s always how I feel when I get a new batch of books – I never know where I want to begin! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it so far though, it’s been all over the news recently, so I hope it’s worth all the hype!

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        • Ste J

          23/10/2015 at 21:25

          I’m not normally one to follow hype for a book but in this case I was intrigued and it was buy one get one half price as well which always helped. Buying new books also meant I could disregard the masses I have at home in favour of a small choice, I needed something a bit lighter after The Social Contract as well and whilst not lighter in that sense of the word it certainly flows a lot better.

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          • Jessica @ Like Bears to Honey

            24/10/2015 at 17:14

            I agree with everything you just said – I think maybe the solution is to try to read books before they become overhyped, because then I am always disappointed. But it’s so tough to keep up with new books AND try to read everything else that I want to read! What made you want to read The Social Contract?

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            • Ste J

              25/10/2015 at 10:21

              The Social Contract had been on my pile since reading about it in a history book and the effects it had on England back in the day, I think I just wanted something to exercise my mind. I love a challenge. Next time the Booker Prize long list is announced I may pick up a few but I find it hard to keep up with all the stuff coming out, all those classics I should read and so on. Still isn’t it great to wallow in a world of riches!

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  2. Love, Life and Whatever

    23/10/2015 at 20:53

    Almost all seems engaging…..you ask me Hemingway all the way.

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    • Ste J

      23/10/2015 at 21:03

      I was tempted but plumped for A brief History of Seven Killings because everybody is talking about it, being the winner of The Booker Prize and so far it is living up to its billing.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. gargoylebruce

    23/10/2015 at 22:05

    That certainly doesn’t look like a “brief” history if seven killings!

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    • Ste J

      24/10/2015 at 08:17

      At almost seven hundred pages, it’s anything but brief, however as I’m rather enjoying it I won’t be reporting the author under the Trade Description Act.

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  4. shadowoperator

    23/10/2015 at 22:49

    All right, where’s the second picture above???? Anyway, please do write a review of the Nemirovsky when you get done with it, I’ve heard of her, but have never read her. I will be interested to hear what you have to say about her. Also, “The Lacuna” is great. A bit slow-moving, but all you have to do is choose a time and place to suit a slow-moving book, and you’ll be all set. I hope you have a great time with your newly acquired reads.

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    • Ste J

      24/10/2015 at 08:44

      The second photo is of my duvet, I didn’t have time to take the photo in situ at the time but remembered when I got home. I have reviewed a couple of Nemirovsky books before, I really enjoy her works, she is so very underrated. I remember your mentioning of The Lacuna before, luckily I added it to my wish list before forgetting, which is an art in itself I think.

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  5. Seyi sandra

    23/10/2015 at 22:56

    Hope you’ll enjoy ‘Seven Killings,’ Marlon James seems to be a decent bloke. I’ll be reading it soon. Have a fun Ste J.

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    • Ste J

      24/10/2015 at 08:28

      I started it the very day I got it, I really like it although it is violent and sad, it grips and I do have to find at least three reasons to put it down before I actually do.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. clarepooley33

    24/10/2015 at 01:30

    I enjoy supporting my local independent bookshop like this! I really, really try not to do it too often as I have so many unread books at home but my philanthropic urge takes over and I find myself paying for three or four new books. I can’t stop at one – how would just one help my friend the bookseller? I then have to find some way of introducing them into the house without attracting the attention of my husband who thinks I have too many already.
    As mentioned before – I’ve never got round to Hemingway and I ought to try him some time. I hadn’t heard of Barbara Kingsolver until last week – she’ll have to wait. I read Suite Francaise by Nemirovsky a couple of years ago – interesting but it didn’t grip me as I’d hoped it would. I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read anything about the Booker Prize this year – just haven’t had time, inclination etc. Your 2nd-hand treasures are interesting. Dr Stables of Boy’s Own Paper fame and the great Laurens Van Der Post. I hope you enjoy your haul!

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    • Ste J

      24/10/2015 at 09:09

      It is a challenge to sneak books in, I used to use the ‘this has been lent to me’ tactic, where it quietly sinks into the piles of books until its ready to be read.

      I’m saving Suite Francaise for last, I have read the majority of Nemirovsky’s works and really enjoyed them all, it’s a shame she didn’t grab you, perhaps one more book just to make sure? Not that I am encouraging you to buy even more books of course! I hadn’t paid much attention to the Booker Prize either, mainly through time constraints and such but luckily with bloggers I never felt completely out of the loop and have penty to catch up on now. I like to get an eclectic mix of books when I shop, so hopefully I can start bringing you the reviews soon.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • clarepooley33

        24/10/2015 at 15:21

        I look forward to that! I was surprised at my reaction to Suite Francaise as I’d read/heard such good reviews of it. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood or something. Maybe I should read it again sometime.

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        • Ste J

          25/10/2015 at 10:07

          Any excuse for a reread! That’s the problem, sometimes a book, a good book just meets you at the wrong time but that’s the risk we take, if I thought like that every weekend, i would get up out of bed and live life hehe.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  7. macjam47

    24/10/2015 at 01:53

    That’s a lot of reading before you!

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  8. shoshibookblog

    24/10/2015 at 08:03

    Great haul! Also, if you discover the magical job that allows you to read and in cafes all day please please share…

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    • Ste J

      24/10/2015 at 08:48

      I shall do…for the small fee of a book so I can then read it in a café…it’s the perfect transaction.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. Claire 'Word by Word'

    24/10/2015 at 09:51

    Great haul and good luck with the Marlon James, look forward to your verdict!

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    • Ste J

      24/10/2015 at 10:33

      I thought this haul would appeal to your tastes, I do love a challenge.

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  10. Lucy

    24/10/2015 at 14:14

    I quite liked Station Eleven but am really enjoying the Marlon James, too. I’m about 100 pages in also. To earn a living sitting and read in a cafe all day might be possible of you own the cafe, and have other people staff it, and you can just be the boss in the corner, at the receiving end of a steady stream of toasted sandwiches and cakes. Although, this may be a tad expensive, I’ve not really thought it through…

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    • Ste J

      25/10/2015 at 10:18

      I like your thinking, a bit like what footballers did in the 70’s when they retired and opened pubs, just with more books and healthier vital organs. I’ve just read 250 pages of A Brief History and it really is good, I even notice a bit of Jamaican creeping into my everyday language.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  11. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    24/10/2015 at 14:59

    Sadly my favorite used book store in Clearwater went out of business 😦 I haven’t searched for another). I’m going to look for the Marlon James on Amazon…and I found it 🙂

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    • Ste J

      25/10/2015 at 10:08

      It’s sad when the local bookstores shut down, we don’t have one in my town, apart from a big newsagent with all the bestsellers in, still it encourages travel to new places which is always good as well.

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  12. Jilanne Hoffmann

    24/10/2015 at 19:11

    Oh, how I love supporting the local economy in this way! Looks like you’re doing your fair share, I’m glad to see. We are moving to a new neighborhood, one that doesn’t have a bookstore within walking distance, so I’ll have to do my supporting while running about the city—ostensibly to do other errands, but really with bookstore visiting in mind.

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    • Jilanne Hoffmann

      24/10/2015 at 19:12

      Oh, and I’m dying to read the Marlon James book. I may buy it for my husband for Christmas….:D

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      • Ste J

        25/10/2015 at 10:05

        It’s a good read, I have been making a lot of time to read it recently, it’s the first book I have done so with in a good while.

        Liked by 1 person

         
    • Ste J

      25/10/2015 at 10:11

      It would be rude not to keep up with all the bookstores. I appreciate not having a local bookstore as it makes the whole idea of going book shopping a whole day journey to see different things from the norm. I find new blog post ideas too, always a bonus.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  13. Bumba

    24/10/2015 at 21:32

    Workinan’s Cafe is a fine Ray Davies album by the way

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    • Ste J

      25/10/2015 at 10:24

      And would provide a great soundtrack to my days.

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  14. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    24/10/2015 at 21:45

    A great haul! A first edition from 1898! that’s a prized possession indeed 😀 Do share your experiences reading them… 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      25/10/2015 at 10:04

      I certainly shall, I was chuffed to bits to find such an old book so cheap, it is a thing of beauty to mine eye. Take that e-readers!

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  15. Sarah

    25/10/2015 at 09:53

    What a great stack of books! Don’t forget, if you get stuck what to read next, Ip Dip Doo is always there for you. 🙂

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    • Ste J

      25/10/2015 at 10:02

      Ah a classic, I like people to assume I do complicated tests in a lab coat to find my next book, makes me seem more dramatic.

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  16. Liz Dexter

    26/10/2015 at 10:12

    Nice haul and … I’ve not read or got any of those!! I’ve got an aversion to Nemirovsky after having to acquire, process and catalogue shelves and shelves of her stuff at my old library job! Have fun with these, though!

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    • Ste J

      27/10/2015 at 16:30

      Nerivsky is great, you don’t know what you’re missing, although I can fully appreciate why you would avoid her, as ever reviews shall be coming up when I get some time to actually read lol.

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  17. Letizia

    26/10/2015 at 18:25

    Venture to the Interior has an intriguing cover. What a good stack altogether!

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    • Ste J

      27/10/2015 at 16:16

      I like to think that my fellow WP friends help define my good taste. I picked up Venture because the author’s name seemed familiar but I couldn’t place it until I searched internet stylee for him later that day, then of course I say his books everywhere after that. Funny how things like that happen.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  18. sakuraandme

    27/10/2015 at 06:12

    Hello! 🙂 A little off the subject but I watched a (DVD) series of Captain Cook the other day. I’ve had it in my cupboard for ages and thought it would be incredibly boring and poor filming. Oh lordy was I wrong! I was hooked and had a movie marathon and stayed up till I almost fell asleep on the couch. Hahaha Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right?? Huge hugs and enjoy the rest of your week. Hugs Paula xxx

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    • Ste J

      27/10/2015 at 16:20

      I love things like that, that surprise us and we get so into them, YouTube is brilliant for that, that way I have nothing to judge beforehand. We also get to admire our amazing skill at finding great things to watch because w naturally forget about the bad stuff we start watching and just remember the times we blindly stumbled into awesomeness hehe. Big hugs my friend, stay uniquely you. xxx

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  19. Sherri

    28/10/2015 at 13:14

    I love how you are helping the economy, I love The Island of Gold, that book fascinates me, what a wonderful adventure to disappear into. Happy reading travels 🙂

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    • Ste J

      28/10/2015 at 14:06

      I’m all for keeping the bokkshops afloat. I had never heard of The Island of Gold so it is great that it has some love already, I look forward to reading an adventure that so many have experienced and loved before me. I love the adventure of reading.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  20. Sheila

    03/11/2015 at 00:44

    I loved Station Eleven. That’s great that you were able to find a book from so long ago. That would make me dream about all the other people who must have flipped through the pages over the years and what their thoughts might have been.

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    • Ste J

      08/11/2015 at 20:14

      That’s exactly what I keep thinking when I pick it up, it’s been kept in good condition so people have cared for it which means that I am joining the tradition of careful owners. I always get curious to who these people were and what stories the book would tell if it could.

      I heard good things about station Eleven as well, I need to get back into the loop with modern books so its a good place to start.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  21. Resa

    08/11/2015 at 02:34

    I love that you found a book that’s over 110 years old! I never heard of it. Have you read it yet?
    I heard that Amazon… the EBook & buy a book online company that helped kill bookstores, is opening a bookstore
    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-opens-first-bricks-and-mortar-bookstore-at-u-village/

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    • Ste J

      08/11/2015 at 20:11

      I haven’t read it yet, I am just savouring the history of it at the moment. I wasn’t familiar with the title either but the way it looked meant I couldn’t not pick it up and look at it.

      That link is interesting, having all the books facing out is certainly different, personally I prefer lots of books and slowly wandering the shelves with my head at an angle. Perhaps Amazon realises that if it can’t run the bookshops out of business, this age old tradition of people actually going out to buy books may just be the better way.

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      • Resa

        08/11/2015 at 20:40

        Yes, I find it a poetic twist of fate!
        I still find myself going to the small book shops in my hood, as opposed to the big corporate Chapters or Indigo… even if they all do have a Starbucks inside.

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        • Ste J

          08/11/2015 at 20:50

          I like to have a sit down and a read but the coffee is always so expensive! I only hit the new book shops of there is an obscure new title that I am after but I prefer the scent of the small book shops and the second hand ones and the magical unheard of books one always seems to come across.

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          • Resa

            08/11/2015 at 20:52

            Agree! And hey, why pay when I make a great cup of coffee!

            Like

             

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