Ten Library Books and Ten Very Good Reasons for Placing a Reservation.

A few weeks ago I ditched the idea of restricting library reservations and changed my project into one to celebrate the magic of library reservations.

The Library Reservations Project1

There are so many things that can spark a search, and it’s wonderful what you can find, in reserve stock or in other libraries, just by running a simple search.

So here’s a list of ten books – a couple that have come home, a couple that are waiting at the library, a few that I have on order and a few more that I plan to order very soon.

What Not by Rose Macaulay

‘The Love-Charm of Bombs’ made me want to read more of Rose Macaulay’s books. Most of all I wanted to read ‘What Not’ –  a book she wrote during the Great War, inspired by her work at the Ministry of Information and her new love affair with Gerald O’Donovan. That relationship would continue until his death, in 1942. The book is out of print and I’ve never come across a copy, but I found one in the library’s fiction reserve.

Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor by Adrian Fort

When this appeared as a group read for the GoodReads Bright Young Things I realised that I new very little about Nancy Astor. Save that she was American, that she was the first woman MP to take her seat, and that her constituency was in Plymouth. I’m curious but I can’t justify buying a book only available in hardback that I’ll probably read only once. The library has a few copies scattered around the county, so I placed an order.

Yew Hall by Lucy M Boston

A mention of Lucy M Boston’s memoirs in the comments that followed Hayley’s lovely post  about Rumer Godden’s ‘A Fugue in Time’ sent me scurrying to the library catalogue. The book was there. And I spotted Lucy M Boston’s first novel, a story of a house with a long history, written for ‘new adults’ and thought it might sit well on the 1954 slot in my Century of Books.

Jambusters: The Story of the Women’s Institute in the Second World War by Julie Summers

One book caught my eye in the window of The End of the World Bookshop with Briar one evening last week. It wasn’t in the library catalogue when I looked for it later that evening, but I put it on to my ‘please add it to stock’ list and a few days later it appeared.

At this point I must say that I do visit bookshops in opening hours and I do buy new books, but I lack both the budget for hardbacks and the patience to wait for more affordable paperback editions.

The Carrier by Sophie Hannah

This is a simple case of knowing a ‘must read’ author had a new book coming out, watching for it to come into stock and then getting my order in. I’ll probably add a copy to my collection when out in paperback but I couldn’t wait that long and I could see copies going on to library shelves up and down the county ….

Carnival by Compton Mackenzie

I’d never thought to find out what Compton Mackenzie had written beyond
Whisky Galore, Monarch of the Glen, and diaries. But Hayley’s post about The Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett intrigued me. Now I’ve looked I’ve found a far more interesting author than I’d ever  realised, and I’ve ordered Carnival, from 1912, a story of theatrical folk with a Cornish connection to fill a gap in my Century of Books.

Underground, Overground: A Passenger’s History of the Tube by Andrew Martin

Last year’s new edition of ‘Poems from the Undergound’ made me nostalgic for my commuting days and so when I spotted Karen buying this book I added it to my wishlist. And when she mentioned a reference to Dorothy Whipple I placed my order.

The Lovely Ship by Storm Jameson

When I saw mention of a trilogy by Storm Jameson in ‘We Write as Women,’ I thought it would be ‘The Mirror in Darkness’ trilogy that I read years ago. But it wasn’t, it was another trilogy telling the story, beginning in the 1840s, of a woman who was heir to a great shipbuilding company. I was intrigued, the first book came from a year still to be filled in my century of books, and so I placed an order.

Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes by Judith Mackrell

I spotted ‘Flappers’ when Cate pinned the oh so striking cover, and I immediately went to add it to my wishlist. It was then that I spotted and other intriguing title by Judith Mackrell. I’d already bought two books that day and I couldn’t justify another so I checked the library catalogue. There are two copies further up the county.

Summer Visits by Margery Sharp

If only somebody would reissue Margery Sharp’s novels I would rush out and buy them all. But as nobody has – yet – I pick up used copies where I can and I order others that the library has and I haven’t found when the mood strikes. ‘Summer Visits’ sounded so appealing on a cool, grey day …

And that’s ten!

9 responses

  1. That’s a great list – perfectly justified. I finally found Love-Bombs — it’s not out here till this summer, but the univ. library gets many UK editions — so it’s on my reserve list, thanks to you.
    PS. I know you live in a slightly smaller country than I do, geographically speaking, but when you said “The library has a few copies scattered around the country, so I placed an order” I kind of swooned with envy.:)
    Happy reading!

  2. You will love Love-Bombs and it will make you seek out other books as well.

    Slight typo – I can order from other libraries in the county which is ninety miles long and not very wide. The country is somewhat bigger, though much smaller than yours!

  3. I do enjoy your lovely lists which always have me rushing off to the library catalogue. Not always successful but today I did find Bloomsbury Ballerina which I like the sound of. And I didn’t know Sophie Hannah had a new release so will watch out for that one.

  4. More and more to add to my TBR lists! I so wish my library had as diverse a collection as yours does. We are a ‘popular library’ and only keep items that are in demand. I saw one of my colleagues discarding several Thomas Hardy novels today and was so sad – but they don’t circulate so off they go. I think I can probably get the selectors to order a copy of ‘Nancy’ – it seems like something that might get lots of checkouts.

  5. Congratulations on using your library to the full. I’m like you I reserve loads of books at once and then it’s always feast or famine … either a whole lot come together and I can’t read them all or I’ m waiting for one to come in and can’t start reading another book because I don’t know when my reservations are coming. I only wish more bloggers would use and promote their libraries. We have a wonderful library service here in Rutland, but they all need support.

  6. I’ve never even heard of What Not – which surprises me, I thought I knew quite a bit about Rose Macaulay’s work, but I’m learning more all the time…
    I really must read some of the Margery Sharps I’ve got. I’ve still only read one, and that was ten years ago.

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