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Diacon Alley in Canterbury was dotted with a lot of book shopping, as placing Hijja in a town with used book shops usually is. And once again, the magical 'books find me' phenomenon cropped up.

So on Thursday morning, after getting into our rooms at the university to drop off luggage, [personal profile] lazy_neutrino, [personal profile] leni_jess and I had a coffee, then hit the bookshops.

The first book I thought about long and hard, but didn't pick up, was the first of Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin nautical history novels. I've seen people on a meme I read being very enthusiastic about the slashy element between the protagonists, but while that's intriguing, guys on ships plots tend to bore me badly in books.

I did find Sarah Rees Brennan's 'The Demon's Lexicon' though, which I'd had an eye on for a long time (though I'd much rather had kept Maya's fanfic online than reading her published novels). Anyway, it was cheap, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

I got Vera Chapman's 'The Three Damosels' for 25p (omg!) - a three-part tale about younger Arthurian women I read as a translation in my teens. I enjoyed it way back, and am curious about the original.

Then we hit the Oxfam bookstore, and they had the most amazing Science Fiction section, mainly with titles from the 1960s and 1970s. The sort of thing I read in translation in my teens, although not very passionately because back then, I was more interested in fantasy, which seemed to have all the interesting character-driven plots. Now, I'm moving back to SF because that's where characterisation is, whereas with most mainstream fantasy, the blurb alone is enough to put me to sleep.

I found Jack Vance's 'The Star King' (getting me closer towards collecting all five parts of the 'Demon Princes' series, Edmond Hamilton's 'Doomstar' (yes, Hamilton is a very guilty pleasure of mine), and, on [personal profile] lazy_neutrino's recommendation, Lloyd Biggle Jr's 'The Light that Never Was'. And then I unscrupulously stole her own find, Kornbluth's 'The Syndic' - at least temporarily, because I started reading it and couldn't put it down. It's damn awesome! Honestly, I'm glad we didn't find the independent second hand bookstore that was rumoured to be somewhere in town!

On campus, I looked into the uni bookshop and found a Spanish/English collection of poems by Juana Ines de la Cruz, which I'll enjoy for the English translation, and my mum for the Spanish originals - reduced down to 2 quid, ain't I lucky?

On the Monday, I revisited the Oxfam bookshop with a bit more time on my hands, and came away with U A Fanthorpe's 'Selected Poems', which the kindly salesguy gave me for £6 instead of the advertised £7 without me asking or anything, just because he'd seen me reading it at the shelf and said 'you looked so happy having found it'. And I was - I'd squeed over my love for Fanthorpe only on Thursday beforehand!

All in all, it *would* have made for a very good weekend in books alone, but when I went back to the B&B to get my luggage, I passed a random charity shop, and the book box outside had not just one, but two of Anthony Horowitz's Power of Five books! Now I'm an Alex Rider person, and that series isn't remotely as good, but decent still. I had read the books in the library, found a used copy of the most recent a while back, and had made a mental note to get the others at some point. And just like that, here they were.

My backpack was pretty damn heavy on the way back. Ah, books - can't live without them! :)
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kennahijja

May 2012

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