The search for a house is still on! House hunting has been top of our priorities this last week, so much so that I’ve been neglecting this blog. If only it was as easy to find a house as it is to find books, but as we were looking around the area where Barter Books is, it would have been impossible not to come away without buying any.
Barter Books is a beautiful secondhand bookshop, one of the largest in the country. It’s in what used to be a Victorian railway station on the main road into Alnwick in Northumberland and I’d love to live nearby (there are houses for sale, one is very near!) . There are shelves and shelves of books to browse. I restricted myself both in time spent there, otherwise I would have been there all day, and in the number of books I bought - just two hardbacks of the Collected Works of Agatha Christie comprising Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, The ABC Murders, Death on the Nile and They Do It With Mirrors and a paperback copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride.
Then one day whilst in Wooler having lunch in Breeze, which is a lovely giftshop, art gallery and coffee shop I just happened to notice that they were also selling secondhand books and I bought an excellent hardback copy of Dracula by Bram Stoker. Wooler is a small market town at the edge of the Cheviots set in the most beautiful countryside and we would like to live there. The Wooler Community website describes it as the “natural gateway to Glendale and Northumberland National Park”. Bamburgh with its impressive castle is not far away.
I really shouldn’t be buying any more books at all as we don’t have any more space to keep them in the house we live in now and one of the requirements for a new house is that there has to be space for all our books – a separate room would be ideal but failing that enough wallspace to take all the bookcases. Even with that in mind I still bought two more books in one of the motorway service stations on the way north. I keep reading about how good Steig Larsson’s books are so when I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire in the “Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price” books I bought them.