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Out of MIND, Out of Pocket

August 31st, 2005 (08:34 pm)

Despite my attempts to remind myself of my poverty, I still allow myself to be seduced by charity bookshops. This is all the more fatal to my finances when I can convince myself that not only am I doing the charity a good turn by giving them some money, but that I am doing myself a good turn and buying books that I really ought to have read. I suspect that I imagine I will simply absorb the contents of the books, as if by osmosis or something, without actually having to open them.

Today's purchases were at the MIND bookshop on Walton Street. I think that this has been open for less than a year, and it is temptingly placed on my walk between TGW's offices and the head office of TGW's parent, where the canteen is, and where I usually go for lunch on office days. I haven't been a great patron of it so far, though I think it's where I found a couple of pieces of royal memorabilia from nearly a century ago, Queen Alexandra's Christmas Gift Book and King Albert's Book, a few months ago. The first is a collection of photographs by the consort of King Edward VII sold for charity (by The Daily Telegraph, unsurprisingly); the second is "A tribute to the Belgian king and people from representative men and women throughout the world" published for Christmas 1914, when the war aim uppermost in many Britons' minds must have been the liberation of Belgium.

On to today's purchases. I'm aware that my knowledge of eighteenth-century crime and the judicial system is more limited than it might be, given that I'm meant to be a specialist in all things eighteenth-century and British, not only for the purposes of TGW but also for the purpose of whatever long-term career I pretend to. So, when I saw Crime, Justice and Discretion in England by Peter King (2000) and Policing and Punishment in London 1660-1750: Urban Crime and the Limits of Terror by J.M. Beattie (2001), both priced at £4, I felt I was doing myself some good and filling some gaps in my knowledge. I do not know when I will actually get to read either of them; and they are both substantial for academic monographs, with King's book reaching over 300 pages, and Beattie's over 400, of closely-set print. Still, though both are crowded with statistics, there are also lurid details of crime and punishment which will spice up the read when I get round to it.

Comments

Posted by: Disparate Housewife (wryelle)
Posted at: August 31st, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)

The second hand books money pit is very similar to the sale clothes money pit. There's an illusion one is saving money by buying cheaply something one wouldn't have bought at all at full price. :)


Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 31st, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)

Did I ever mention that I have a small collection of shirts which I've bought in sales and never actually worn?