Such a Very Desirable Book ….

…. arrived in the post yesterday.

There are lots of books that I would love to find, of course they are, but to find this book, a book by an author I love, an author whose earliest work in nigh impossible to find, really felt like a dream come true.

I don’t keep a ‘most wanted’ list, but, if I did, it would have been at number two; and finding it has given me the belief that one day I will hold a copy of one book in the world that wish for most of all.

A lovely book and renewed hope all on one small brown package.

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I wanted to savour it, and so it sat on the dining table, unopened for quite some time. I ate, I took Briar for a walk in the gardens, I did one or two things around the house, I watched Bake Off, I finalised last night’s book thoughts ….

But I couldn’t go to bed without looking at my book. It’s old, it’s worn, but I really couldn’t be happier with it.

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The binding is fine, the pages are intact, and that’s what is really important. To be able to read ….

My book is a first edition – my understanding is that there was just the one edition, and that it why copies are so scarce – and there is an inscription inside.

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Do you think that the M. S. who wrote that was Margery Sharp? I think that it’s highly likely.

It’s not really that important, because – and I hope this makes some kind of sense – I don’t want to intrude or to stake any kind of claim; I just want the love that I and others have for her writing to reach her.

(I’d also love some reissues, and for many more people to fall in love with her writing.)

I won’t be reading ‘Fanfare for Tin Trumpets’ quite yet. Because the next stage of appreciating a new book is to look at it for a while, to pick it up and put it down knowing that I have a treat in store, when the moment is right.

Do you do that? Or do you start reading straight away?

And which books – which author – would you be as happy to find as I was to find this lovely, lovely book?

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There’s another of Margery Sharp’s books that I had in mind to read before I begin this one, so I think I’ll read that next, launch the second annual celebration of Margery Sharp Day, and give away a second used copy of another her books that I found a little while ago ….

Then I’ll read this book.

And dream of finding a copy of ‘Rhododendron Pie’ ….

22 thoughts on “Such a Very Desirable Book ….

  1. Isn’t it a funny thing that some of us do? I shelve much-adored books…I guess it’s a way to preserve the mystery and drag out anticipation. Such a lovely treasure, Jane!

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  2. I’m so happy for you, Jane – what a treasure. I’m trying to think now what would be on the top of my “most wanted” books.

    Some books I do start as soon as they arrive, but others get set aside like yours, because as much as I wanted them, it isn’t the right time to read them just then.

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  3. Wonderful post Jane! I know what you mean by appreciating and savoring each moment of the arrival of the new book…I though I was the only one who started at the new arrivals ….:)

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  4. I got a cheap copy of this in a sale. It was a Canadian edition. I hadn’t realised it was so rare! You have a real treat in front of you. I throughly enjoyed this book, which is a coming of age story of a young man, although plenty of women are involved. Why on earth does some publisher not reissue Margery Sharp’s novels?

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  5. That’s lovely Jane – isn’t it just wonderful when you track down a book you’ve wanted for so long. And surely MS *must* be the author herself! A fabulous addition to your collection! 🙂

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  6. Highly likely, and how lovely! I vary when I find something I love – I do like the anticipation of seeing it creep up and up the TBR …

    And I get very excited when I happen upon an Iris Murdoch first edition – I have found some in charity shops as well as buying known ones. If I found one with an inscription, I would probably burst!

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  7. A treasure! I share your feelings about savoring an addition to my library. Right now I am waiting for a second book by C. C. Vyvyan. I am reading Letters from a Cornish Garden by her. That’s how I found your blog–roaming through Cornwallian things. She wrote many books but they are not very available in the used book market. Thank you for your post!

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  8. It makes me happy just to read about how happy you are with your new treasure. 🙂 I admire your patience. I would never have been able to let the package sit wrapped up and further, to not start reading right away.

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