Friday, November 27, 2009

Pym Up A Ladder

As I've written already, I'm having a terrible time finding Barbara Pym novels, and it seems I just have to wait for her fans to die because there's no other way they're going to let her go. I sort of fancied just walking into any old used bookshop and buying up her library for a dollar or two, but alas, no dice.

This is bothersome because I fell in love with Pym just a few weeks back (via Excellent Women), and then Maureen Corrigan kept going on about her, and now DoveGreyReader has just posted a marvelous ode. In which she notes Pym's A Very Private Eye: An Autobiography in Diaries and Letters, which is available at Ten Editions Bookstore, at the end of my street, no less.

So I had no excuse not to go and fetch it, and why not the Pym novel No Fond Return of Love while I was at it? It was a hardcover, in excellent condition and with a gorgeous dust jacket (that put me in mind of Persephone Books) and not too expensive. So that's done, and it's fine, because I've shown excellent book buying restaint this past month. Except A Child's Christmas in Wales that I bought yesterday, but that doesn't count, because it's illustrated with woodcuts by Ellen Raskin and she wrote The Westing Game.

The very best part of all of this is not my purchases themselves, however, or even my supposed restraint, but that the books I bought today were to be found high up a ladder. The kind that slides along the shelf of course, and I sought permission before I felt free to climb it. Permission granted, and I've never found a book in such a fashion in my bookbuying life. Such a monumental moment, to be commemorated with a photograph of course. The whole thing was very exciting.