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February 2019



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Golden Oldies: a Poll

Last month I posted about ABE Books’ feature on Redheads in fiction
This month, they’ve come up with Retro Summer Reading or Books from the Past. Do have a look; some of those old dustwrappers are lovely.

I suspect that most people who look at my journal read more old books than new ones: am I right?

Your reading habits

I read mostly old and/or out of print books
I buy a lot of secondhand books
I feel the need to keep up with all the latest publications
I buy a lot of new books
I never re-read a book
I often re-read a book


I should say I used to buy a lot of secondhand books - now I swap them with my mum/sister/friends or borrow them from the library. Sometimes I'm given new books for Christmas or birthdays but I hardly ever buy them for myself.

...though if I saw books like those on the Retro Reading list in a charity shop I'd snap them up! They are gorgeous.

Edited at 2009-05-15 12:15 pm (UTC)
I shall have to do another poll sometime, on 'have you ever bought a book for its cover.'!


I buy a lot of new books in order to support the authors (!), but I do re-read old ones too. Do you like Ann Bridge?
I tried one but she seemed dated compared with some of her contemporaries. People like you have given me good retro reading suggestions.

Re: Books

Sorry, Susie, I'd love to buy your new book but I'll have to wait for the paperback :-)

I have several of Ann Bridge's books but haven't read any for a long time. Perhaps it's time for a re-read. I used that illustration because I already had it handy and it's a nice example of a retro cover. I expect you read Peking Picnic, about a diplomat's wife in China before the war? I think it's her best known book, along with The Ginger Griffin. Perhaps she'll be the next big thing in republishing.
Great post and gorgeous dustwrapper there! I think I might fall in the "buy a lot of secondhand books" category. I do buy a fair number of new books though especially mysteries, but usually in paperback.

Don't know Ann Bridge - anything set in Vienna? They sound rather like Mabel Esther Allan's continental thrillers for grown ups at a quick glance. Perhaps like Mary Stewart she'll be rediscovered. Was in Borders and noticed such authors as Jean Plaidy, Desmond Bagley and Alistair MacLean (sps?) are being reprinted in attractive paperbacks. I remember reading all of those from the library as a teenager. With Victoria Holt. Can remember those retro jackets!
Thank you! I'd say you buy a lot of new books :-)
Ann Bridge: yes, I think something in common with Mary Stewart (Madam will you whatever) and also Helen Macinnes; settings which were exotic to readers of their time. I don't think I know one set in Vienna but I haven't read them all. Scotland, China, France, er, memory fails.
I buy a lot of new books - basically anything that's contemporary I buy brand new. I only really buy second-hand for GO and other old children's books. I do buy a lot of those, though ...

You needed a "I sometimes re-read a book" option. I probably only re-read one or two books per year.
I think people here are able to get a lot of contemporary fiction second hand at charity shops, boot sales etc.

I will remember the extra option for next time!


Old books

You make the old books brand new with your blog! I love coming here to read about new-to-me authors or writers from the past whom I love.

Re: Old books

Thank you!


old vs new books

I'm a total bookaholic. I buy and read both. Love the Ann Bridge cover. I have this plus several others but find her hard work these days and dialogue stilted. But it's of the period and has to be read with that in mind. The 1950s covers are a joy! They would look good, facing outwards, on a shelf, like art work. (I once asked in a bookshop for books by Ann Bridge and they thought I wanted the Archers books, as in Ambridge!)
Margaret P

Re: old vs new books

I must try some of my Ann Bridge novels to see if I can still read her I find it hard to get rid of a pretty book!


Ann Bridge

May I add a PS as I've already left a comment?

I suggested to Nicola Beauman at Persephone Books (quite some time ago) that she consider Ann Bridge for re-issue, but my suggestion wasn't taken up.
Margaret P

Re: Ann Bridge

Perhaps Ann Bridge is her Whipple.


Re: Ann Bridge

But she has published Whipple and doesn't seem to have any intention of publishing Ann Bridge. By the way, Ann Bridge, like Joy Packer, was recommended to me at school by my English teacher. I loved the novels of Joy Packer, especially Nor the Moon by Night (later made into a film starring Dirk Bogarde.)Maybe they're just too middle/low-brow for Persephone?
Margaret P