An ever so tiny book splurge

After six months in which I bought only three books I’ve been on a little spree this week. I say ‘little’ because I’m determined not to let the TBR get further out of control. This is a reward for sticking fairly well to my goals for the first half of the year. As reminder I set two goals:

  1. Enjoy my library collection to the full by reading only these books for six months. In other words: read the books I already own rather than go chasing shiny new ones. This was a more positive approach than a book ban (I know from past experience I’d never keep to that) and did give me the flexibility to borrow from libraries. I did acquire  a few titles via give aways and offers of review copies but I also declined more than I accepted so the TBR is still on a downward trend. Down from 318 at the start of the year to 276 by end of June. I’m counting this as success.
  2. My second goal was to Learn how to use Photoshop to create more compelling images. With help from my husband who is a whizz-kid with this software program and some online tutorials I’ve managed to get beyond the basics. Much huffing and puffing is still involved each time I want to do a new montage and realise I’ve forgotten the instructions again or my computer won’t do what the tutorial says it should do. But I’m getting there.

I’m giving myself a breather in July before going once more unto the breach for the final five months of the year.

I’ll keep goal number one but will give myself a bit more slack to buy a few new titles (I’m thinking four new books would be a reasonable allowance for a 5 month period). I have a very long wishlist that I maintain on Goodreads so chosing just four books from that list could be a challenge.

Goal two will remain – there is  still a lot more I to learn with Photoshop so I don’t think I can declare victory just yet.

I’m going to add a third goal.

Goal 3: I will finish all the books remaining in my Booker project.  I have only 8 more titles to go before I’m done. No reason why I can’t do this by end of December.

New purchases 

Books purchased July 2017

So what did I buy on my mini spree? I deliberately avoided going to a bookshop which would be way too much temptation. Mind you I have a few hours to kill in the city tomorrow so my resolve might waver….. (I’m making zero promises!).

The local branch of The Works was doing a deal on paperbacks of 3 for £5. I couldn’t find three but did end up with:

Stasi Wolf by David Young. This is an atmospheric crime fiction series set in East Germany in the 1970s, in other words when it was still part of the Soviet empire. There’s a good review of this book by MarinaSofia at CrimeFictionLover.    I won book two in the series in a give away earlier this year but was then advised to start from the beginning so was delighted to find what I thought was book. That will pay me to give closer attention to my TBR – I got home to find Stasi Wolf is the one I already have. Maybe it doesn’t count as a purchase in that case???

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny. I wasn’t familiar with this title in the Chief Inspector Gamache series set in Quebec and the publishers have a habit of using alternative titles for some of her books. So I did a quick web search while standing in the shop to confirm that I don’t already have this under a different name. I should have done that with Stasi Wolf shouldn’t I?

My local library branch has a regular book sale table which I browse regularly, on behalf of my dad, for books in the  Detective Superintendent Roy Grace crime fiction series by Peter James. He loves this series set in Brighton but gets frustrated because he can’t borrow them from his library in the order of publication. So I keep an eye out to fill in any gaps for him. No luck again on my recent visit but I did find that monstrously large book at the bottom of the stack.

Cwmcardy is published by the Library of Wales as part of their project to bring out-of-print or forgotten books of Welsh literature back into play. Cwmcardy is one of two epic novels written by Lewis Jones  about  his experience in South Wales between 1890s and 1930s and is considered one of the Great Welsh novels. This is a rather graphic portrait of exploitation, violence and political aspiration experienced by the industrial workers of this part of Wales around the time of the General Strike in 1926. That could make it sound rather grim and ‘worthy’ but I note that the reviewer who nominated this as a Great Welsh Novel,  considered it a page-turner full of action and sensation.  It’s more than 700 pages long so quite when I’ll get round to reading it is a big question – however it cost 20pence which seemed a small investment for strengthening my collection of Welsh authors.



About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on July 16, 2017, in 2017 goals, Sunday Salon, TBR list and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. That Jones book looks MASSIVE! I lived in the UK and have been to visit multiple times, but not once I have I been to Wales and I have many Welsh ancestors. Maybe I should just read the literature instead 😀

  2. BTW re authors from Wales, do you claim Owen Sheers as one of your own? I’ve just read his I Saw a Man… he lives in Wales but wasn’t born there.

  3. Good for you on both challenges. I’m thinking about reassessing my reading challenges for the year since I haven’t made much of a dent in my TBR. Congrats on reigning in your book buying and congrats on your mini splurge. Sometimes a good book splurge does a body good.

  4. Won’t there be a 9th book for your booker project before December? 😉

    • I decided to draw the line at the 2015 winner. I have 2016’s Sellout to read and may well end up reading the 2017 winner at some point but I’m not adding it to the project

  5. Good on you. My TBR stack is higher than it was at the start of the year (only by a few) despite my book-buying-ban – too many ARCs and visits to the library. But intending to refocus efforts for the second half of the year.

  6. I was never much into crime fiction, but I made an exception for Ruth Rendell. A few years ago I made another exception for Louise Penney. The Inspector Gamache series is excellent, and the Quebec setting has a lot of charm.

  7. I was going to ask which books you bought so I’m glad you included that at the end. I’ve bought a lot less this year too, and several bags of books have donated to the library charity shop.

  8. Congrats on sticking to your goals…and it’s only fitting that you reward yourself a bit.

    I know what you mean about alternative titles fooling us into duplicating our purchases.

    I need (and want) more of the Louise Penny series. I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I think that’s pretty restrained! Cwmcardy sounds a bit like some of my Francis Brett Young reads. I hate it when books change titles – Debbie Macomber’s light reads do this a lot and really confuse me.

  10. You are very restrained, I really should take notes. I rather think I have long given up on the Booker thing. So well done on your progress with that.

  11. Good luck with finishing the Bookers and well done on the restraint – as you say, it’s hard to ignore them when they’re calling to you….

  12. 4 books for 5 months is a fair deal and you actually only bought 2 as you duplicated one. Given that one was only 20p as well an excellent result. From someone who without fail acquires more than 4 in a week (and sometimes a day) I salute you.

    • i look like a goldfish whenever I read your posts about your new purchases – gasping for air in astonishment that anyone can read so much….

      • Ah Karen, you are making the mistake of equating buying to reading. I buy a lot and just store up things for future reading. If I could actually read that many I’d be astonished as well. I live in hope that when the govt finally allows me to retire I’ll have the time to read because I’m sure I won’t have the money spare to keep buying.

  13. Buying books and stopping before you go bankrupt is hard ! I mean …those books are just screaming to be taken home :/

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