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.


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.


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.


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?


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. Could that Norman Denny be the translator of Les Miserables? Highly likely as well I think! Two reasons to celebrate…….Know this feeling too, Jane, and love it too….


  2. 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!


  3. 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.


  4. 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 ….:)


  5. 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?


  6. 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! 🙂


  7. 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!


  8. 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!


  9. 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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