As I’m sure we’ve mentioned a few times Stef’s up in Dundee staying with me and we’ve packed as much Blytonian stuff into our week as possible, which has included a bit of shopping.
On Tuesday we made a trip up to Inverness, to the largest second hand book store in Scotland. It’s called Leakey’s and it’s just amazing basically. 100,000 books in an old church.
They’ve got sections for just about every genre of books, including a fairly large children’s section which is mostly vintage books.
There were quite a few Blytons to be found there and needless to say I came home with several.
SHADOW THE SHEEP-DOG
I found a slightly marked fourth impression (1947) for £6. I’m not the biggest fan of the animal stories but as it wasn’t expensive I decided to go for it anyway.
THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE
I’ve been trying to find all the Enchanted Wood books for a while now, but so far only had the first one. They’re hard to find online; they’re either very very expensive or affordable because they’ve got several pages missing. Leakey’s had a 10th impression with a near perfect dust jacket for just £5. It’s from 1964, 21 years later than the first edition, but it should be exactly the same text and illustrations, so for a fiver I’m not going to complain.
HAPPY DAY STORIES
Stef also handed me a copy of Happy Day Stories a first edition with dust jacket. I have Rainy Day Stories already so I had been looking for this to complete the pair. I’d been unsuccessful so far, so when I saw this one at £9 I decided to have it.
FIVE GO TO MYSTERY MOOR AND FIVE ON A SECRET TRAIL
Finally, I broke my “no duplicates” rule. Twice. I’d seen both these books on my previous visit, and had regretfully not bought them. As they were still there months later I took it as a sign.
I have all the Famous Fives already, but there were two first editions for less than £10 each; Mystery Moor and Secret Trail. I already have a 7th impression of Mystery Moor but I thought replacing it with a first would be nice, and my secret trail is a second edition, fifth impression (by Brockhampton) so replacing that with a first is definitely a good thing for me. Both my original copies have dust jackets so I might well be a bit naughty and put them on the new ones.
THE SECRET OF THE LOCH AND TORRIDON’S SURPRISE
I also bought two non-Blytons. I’ve been branching out a little into Blyton’s ‘contemporaries’ I supposed you might call them, and I’m a sucker for nice-looking children’s books from the fifties and sixties. There were quite a lot in Leakey’s but I chose these two for the Scottish connection, The Secret of the Loch by Francis Cowen (first edition, £10) and Torridon’s Surprise (£6 as it’s a later edition) by Marie Muir.
So I had a bit of a spree that day!
On Thursday we were at Seven Stories in Newcastle (we’ll blog about that later) and I bought a couple of things there too.
One was a CD with dramatised versions of Five Go to Smuggler’s Top and Five Get Into a Fix (an odd pair, but they’re two of my favourite stories). The other was a monitor badge which made me think of Elizabeth Allen, the naughtiest girl, who becomes a monitor.
Then on Friday we went to St Andrews and I bought yet more stuff!
FIVE GO TO MYSTERY MOOR (AGAIN)
I found (another) copy of Mystery Moor (yes, breaking my no-duplicates rule for a third time!) for 5op, and it’s the version with colour illustrations so I bought it for crafting purposes. Not sure what I will do with it yet, maybe a decoupaged canvass (inspired by one Poppy did recently) or maybe a box or little set of drawers.
THE WHISPERING ISLAND
And finally, in Barnardo’s books I found, well actually, Stef found, one of the 1980s Famous Five games, The Whispering Island. All the parts are there, the book, dice, cards and map, and it’s even in the original plastic wallet. All for only £2!
All in all, I think I had a good week (though maybe my purse didn’t!) I just need to find time now to sit down and read/play all of these.
Gosh, you really did well! Obviously Stef has a very bad influence in you – it’s amazing what you see when you are showing someone else around, Perhaps when you visit Stef you will be able to join in with a visit to Alton to see Jane Austen’s house and visit two second hand bookshops that have great stocks of children’s books. They are not over-priced but seeing as you can’t resist buying you had better bring plenty of money with you!
What a wonderful result – You must be really pleased with your excursions and finds. Like you Fiona, I try not to duplicate but sometimes you just have to, don’t you!
Great finds! Congratulations :).
If we’ll ever come to Inverness, Leakey’s will be a must.
I’m slowly catching up with the many posts that I have missed since Italy.
Knew I’d made a big mistake introducing you to Leakey’s!! Your finances will suffer.