The Phantom Book

Good evening, Bookworms!

Following on from last night’s blog entry, I would like to put a question to you…

Have any of you ever been utterly convinced you own a copy of a certain book, only to discover that you don’t?

I have Pride And Prejudice. I have War And Peace. However, it now seems as though I do NOT have Crime And Punishment. The Dostoyevsky is nowhere to be seen, and I have been having an extensive shufty this afternoon! I have been out to the book chest in the garage and had the books out of there and back again. Complete absence of C&P in there. I have looked under Computer Corner during the daylight at the piles of books under this here laptop… Again, C&P is conspicuous by its absence… I have also looked in my book cupboards. I know I sometimes have more than one layer of book rows in those cupboards, but I have had books, tea, chocolate, etc, out of those cupboards and parts of my wardrobe unit and I am now starting to suspect that I don’t own a paperback copy of Crime And Punishment after all! I could’ve sworn I did, a Penguin paperback I’m convinced it was, but evidence of my vast book collection is suggesting that Dostoyevsky’s classic work of Russian literature is not amongst my vast horde of reading matter.

There  is only one thing left to do…. Tomorrow lunchtime, there will be a trawl of the charity shops in Chorlton as I look to rectify this matter. I am wary of paying full price for a book of which I thought I owned a copy and the chances are, knowing me, that as soon as I go and acquire a copy, fate will conspire to turn up and wave a copy in my face and say “You’ve already got it, you numpty!”

This is how I have ended up with two copies of the same book in the past! I’d completely forgotten I already had a particular book when, browsing in a charity shop, I see something that grabs me… 99p, sounds an interesting read, take book to counter along with pound coin and buy said book…. only to get home and then discover, some time later, that I had already bought the book! With the exception of The Catcher In The Rye (which I bought a cheap charity shop copy of in case a Facebook friend of mine wanted it to replace the copy someone had nicked years ago), the other books I have two copies of have had their duplicates acquired because I’d completely forgotten that I’d already bought these books in the first place! I have two copies of: The Catcher In The Rye, The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Sophie’s World, The Pillars Of The Earth, I Capture The Castle and One Day. Actually, I have two copies of the David Nicholls novel, now a film and about to go on release at cinemas, because I already had a copy but a colleague gave me some books and that one was amongst them, but four of my duplicates were obtained because your absent-minded blogger here forgot she’d already bought said books!

I am currently perusing a book I bought not long ago for a mere 69p at a charity shop – one of those books of books – a guide to other books! Ok, I’m no longer a teenager (haven’t been since I hit my 20s in 1993) and my baby niece is a mere one year old and nowhere near the teen stage of her life yet, but The Ultimate Teen Book Guide is a great book guide! In the 700 books reviewed, they are not all what you would immediately think of as “teen” books. Yes, there are several books in there which were definitely written for and aimed at a teenage readership, but there are plenty in there that I would say are seen as older people’s books and would be found amongst the classics or general adult fiction sections in libraries and bookshops, rather than in the children’s or young adult sections. Having said that, though, set texts for GCSE English Literature are hardly kids’ stuff – they certainly weren’t when I was doing my coursework and exams. I’d already read Jane Eyre at school in the 3rd year (Year 9 as it would be known now), and then during my GCSEs, studied Pride And Prejudice, Macbeth, Animal Farm and a considerable amount of 1st World War poetry, particularly by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. I particularly enjoyed Macbeth and Animal Farm. Not sure of all the texts my sister read, but I do recall one of them was Great Expectations, which she enjoyed.

What did you study when you were at school, college or university? Did you enjoy any of the set texts?

I’ll leave you all to ponder on that and possibly even get back to me with replies! You’re welcome to comment, you know! As long as it’s polite and constructive, I welcome your comments on my blog entries! I shall be off now to read Crime And Punishment on my eReader, while I await the opportunity to find a paperback copy in one of the many charity shops near work tomorrow! Take care, Happy Reading and I hope you find the books you wish to read!

Books mentioned in this blog:

  • Pride And Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • War And Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  • Crime And Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Catcher In The Rye – J D Salinger
  • The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith
  • Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder
  • The Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett
  • I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith
  • One Day – David Nicholls
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • Macbeth – William Shakespeare
  • Animal Farm – George Orwell
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • The Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Daniel Hahn, Leonie Flynn & Susan Reuben
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