Friday, 23 January 2015

My Bargain Books

This never normally happens to me so you have to excuse my excitement. I was walking along the street this afternoon when something caught my eye. I was outside a charity shop and I'd spotted the name 'Joseph Campbell' sticking out of a box of cheap secondhand books. Now, that's not the sort of thing you'd expect in our town. I mean, this is a *very* poor northern working class town. We don't have bookshops and the books you normally see in secondhand bookshops are the kinds of books you expect to see in secondhand books shops in working class towns: they're either books by Peter Kay or books about Peter Andre. Books on comparative mythology just don't turn up around here and I was immediately shocked to think there's another Campbell fan within a few miles of me and I don't even know who they are.

So, I pick it up and rummage through the box only to find a rather excellent collection of essays (and a few cartoons) from Punch. So, into the shop I go. I hand them the woman at the desk. She doesn't know what to ask. She explained (though not in these exact words) that the books were from the box where they put the general crap and not the quality Cheryl Cole books which they keep inside... Sigh...

So, she proceeds to charge me 20p for the two of them. 'Myths To Live By', incidentally, currently selling on eBay for about a tenner second hand. Mine cost 10p.

I was walking out the shop not believing my luck when I thought to myself: why quit now? I might as well look in the back and see if there's any more of this 'crap' for which they clearly don't know the value. So, off I go, looking over the bookcase, which consists mainly of cookery books, books by Terry Wogan, and (like I've said), countless books 'by' Cheryl Cole. And there, sitting at the bottom, among old telephone directories and colouring books in which children had already done their colouring: a clean unused copy of C# for Dummies, the 2010 edition containing 8 books in 1. A post it stuck inside suggested that the previous owner had only reached page 92 before quitting. It's currently selling on eBay, second hand, for £24. I tried to act casual as I handed it over.

'Oh,' they usually have a price on. She waved it at another woman. 'How much Doreen?

Doreen sucked her teeth. 'Oh that old thing. See if he'll give a pound.'

The woman held it up. 'A pound? Is that okay?'

'Sigh...' I said. delaying my answer in case they wanted to reduce it further. 'Oh, I suppose so...' I said handing over my pound.

Talk about luck! Only last night I was looking on Amazon at C# books and lamenting about how ridiculously expensive they are. It might be a little our of date (covering C#4.0 instead of the current 5.0) but, as far as I can see, there's no a great deal of difference.


  1. See! Curse yourself for those doubts of yesterday, and revel in the fickle finger of fate finding you for a change, even if only to figuratively flick your ear. As for your dalliance with negativity, realise that if you are sure of it, then you have been positive, thus the negative is a myth. (I think that that could be better put - indeed, I am quite certain of it!)

  2. There's no such thing as a "dalliance with negativity" where I'm concerned. It's a long term romance complete with periods of outright hostility. ;)

    Will try to be positive this next week but I know it will be a tough one... The end of the month is always a tough time.