Second hand Katie

Second hand Katie.

It may surprise my readers to see this article promoting second-hand books.

Hold that thought, for even though I should be promoting my own works of fiction and poetry I am a great advocate of purchasing second-hand books. In addition, I get great pleasure from promoting other author’s work.  This I do in my monthly column called Mansfield Bookshelf a regular feature of The Mansfield and Ashfield News Journal. In addition, I promote authors on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Second-hand books are a great way to discover books from all over the world. The choice is massive Classics, biographies, memoirs, in fact, every genre is available.

Some second–hand booksellers specialize in rare and antique books. How exciting to own such a copy? What about a first edition, can you imagine the joy of that. The only first editions I can lay claim to are my own published books: Alice, Love, Secrets and Absolution and my collection of poetry ‘Chameleon Days.’ Very soon my long-awaited third contemporary fiction novel ‘Union Blues’ will be going to print. Another first edition for my collection.

Do any of you own a signed copy? It can be such a thrill to personally speak to the author and get a signed copy. I have a number of signed copies from literary events and promotional tours. These books I treasure and selfishly keep for myself as I learned the hard way when I was a student and loaned my books to never see them again.

Over lockdown, I have done a fair amount of reminiscing and traveling down memory lane. Thinking about the books I studied for GCSE and A-Levels it occurred to me that I don’t have one single copy of the books I studied. I guess I must have passed them on to other students. One book in particular I felt sad about not having a copy.

Before the day was out my second-hand copy of Seventeenth-Century Poetry edited by Hugh Kenner was winging its way to me via the courtesy of my google search.

It arrived well-thumbed with lots of penciled notes in the margins. Printed in the United States by Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston and cataloged at the library of Congress. The owner’s name or at least one of the owners is not very clear but looks like Viv Moorhouse. How wonderfully intriguing.

How I was transported back in time as I read Donne, Jonson, Herbert, Crashaw, Townshend, Marvell, and others.

Such joy.