Friday, 29 August 2014

Reading in Norfolk

Hello again!

I'm back from my stay in Norfolk with the family, and I have to say I've had a fantastic time! Who says holidaying in Blighty is boring!?

We were staying in a lovely little village called Wells next the Sea, in a cottage that was amply equipped with books in every room...

Just in case some of us wanted to opt for a non-TV-related activity...
In my brother's room - I don't think he made use of it...

A collection of mystery novels/spy thrillers, complete with matching covers.

There was even this English translation of a Maupassant short story collection, but sadly I didn't get round to reading it.

And this was the teensy bookshelf in my attic bedroom:

There was even a book set in beautiful Biarritz (my French year-abroad home)...

Though this doesn't look like quite my thing...

The village itself also boasted a surprising number of bookshops for its small size, including this very full, untidy-looking one:

This one was rather better organised, and had a lovely assortment of books and artworks in the window (including a large framed printout of monorail cat for some bizarre reason).

The books in this one didn't look too interesting to be honest:

But the old station had also been converted into a shop, and the window display looked lovely (though I never managed to go inside).

The lovely window display

Of course, we didn't just wander around bookshops and sit around the house perusing the reading material. We had to get out and about and make the most of what Norfolk has to offer.

We took a trip from Sheringham on an old steam train along the North Norfolk railway, or the poppy line (as they call it for some reason).

Lovely old steam train
View from the train
Getting a bit of reading time in...

We spent many an hour on the beach swimming, playing frisbee and, of course, reading.

We took yet another steam train, this one on a teeny 10 1/4 inch gauge railway line, to the quaint village of Walsingham.

Our transport...

The village was beautiful, and of course we made the compulsory stop in a café for some tea...

Some complimentary reading-matter on the windowsill.

Finally, on our last day we visited Norwich and made the most of the castle museum and gallery, as well as the cathedral.

Picked up some inspiration from the museum shop.

This building was wouldn't have looked out of place in Diagon Alley...
And of course I couldn't resist taking a picture of this beautiful book display ('Tombland' was the name of the street/area, and not a comment on the content of the books).
So there you have it! My Norfolk holiday adventure! I can highly recommend the region, especially to those of you who live in the UK. 

Unfortunately, due to all the exciting activities going on around me, I didn't get half as much reading done as I'd hoped. But reviews of the books I read will be coming soon!

What did you think of my Norfolk adventure? Have you ever been? What is your favourite holiday destination/activity (besides reading of course)? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Norfolk holiday TBR

So, once again I'm off on holiday (but this will be the last time this summer!). I'm heading to Norfolk (England) with the family, and I always get loads of reading done on family holidays so I should have plenty of exciting reviews coming after that. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get organised and schedule posts for when I'm away, so there won't be posts for at least a week. Sorry about that!

Anyway, without further ado, here's my holiday TBR:

Yes, I know. It's a pretty big 'un for just a week, but you never know! I might just manage to get through them all... Besides, I love to have a choice of what to read.

I've been meaning to read this first one for ages, so hopefully I'll actually get round to it this time:
It's been on my shelf for SUCH a long time!

My sister lent this next one to me. It's pretty well known on the interwebs so I'm interested to see what I'll think of it (especially after what I thought of The Fault in Our Stars):
My sister's had this copy for years! What a hipster...

Bought it on a whim years ago. About time I finally read it:

I picked this one up from the library just this morning. I've heard mixed things about Salinger, so I'm looking forward to making up my own mind:
I kinda wanted A Catcher in the Rye but they didn't have it. Boo :(

I loved The 39 Steps, so hopefully I'll enjoy this too:
Not so keen on this cover, but hey ho.

Bought for the quirky title. Let's hope it lives up to it:
Plus I think the cover is cool.

Loved Harry Potter (obviously). But will I love this? :
I really hope I do!

And finally, this is my 'Currently Reading'. I'm absolutely loving it so far, so I'm looking forward to reading the rest!

What do you think of my holiday TBR? What books are you reading in the holidays? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Old old books

Now, I'm not a serious collector of books (though I have managed to amass a reasonable collection over the years) and I haven't ever made a special effort to buy old books. Nevertheless, I do find that older books have a certain appeal, not to mention they smell great! (Is that weird...?)

So I have acquired quite a few old books that I thought it would be interesting to have a look at. If, like me, you enjoy the well-thumbed, yellowing, faded cloth-covered look on your books, then this blog post is for you my friends! Enjoy.


Starting with the most modern of these 'old books', the first on my list is Playing the Piano for Pleasure by Charles Cooke.

This edition is from 1948, and used to belong to my grandfather, who loved to play the piano, both on his own and to accompany his university friends on their various instruments.

My grandpa's name in the front

As I play the piano myself, my grandpa was very keen that I should get the maximum pleasure from playing as possible. He obviously felt that this book would help me achieve this. I adore playing the piano and love music in general, so this book was a welcome addition to my collection. Not to mention it's written wonderfully!

"Fingernails trimmed short enough, please..."


I really have no idea where I picked this next book up... 

This rather battered edition of Three Men in New Suits by J.B. Priestley is from 1946. 

It was published just after the war so had to conform to 'war economy standards'. The story itself is also rather dated with its hopeful view of communism as being the way of the future, but it was also quite charming and redemptive in its own way.


This edition of Deutschland - ein Wintermärchen by Heinrich Heine is from 1945...

...and this edition of Toute La Lyre by Victor Hugo is from 1935.

Both of these books I got for free from the languages department at university.


The next book was a lucky find from an antique shop in Wales.

It's The Ebb-Tide by Robert Louis Stevenson. This 1924 copy has a beautiful signature imprint on the front.


The final book on here doesn't actually have a date in it, so I have no idea how old it is, but it's got all the pleasing qualities of the other books, so I thought I'd give it a special mention.

It's The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, complete with illustrations.


So there you have it! Some beautiful old books from my shelves. 

Do you have any old books that you think deserve appreciation? What's the oldest book you own? Let me know in the comments.
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