Posted by: billpurdue | November 14, 2011

Budget book shopping

I’m a little bit late with this posting, but my excuse is that I’ve been doing a little bit of online Christmas shopping – and yes, some of the things I bought were books (of course!)

The Chad has asked me for two more columns before the end of the year, so I’ve also been spending time doing a bit of research. One of the topics in the next column will be ereaders. It was only in 2010 that I last wrote a column on this subject, but, as you are bound to know, things have changed a lot since then. There are some new brand names on the scene and both WHSmith and (very soon) Waterstone’s will be marketing their own exclusive (in the UK) brands of ereader. Anyway more about that in the next Chad column which will probably be at the end of this month or the start of next.

If you’re thinking about buying books for Christmas presents, then there’s – as always – an awful lot to choose from out there, whether your budget is large or small. If you are watching the pennies, then why not try one of the mail order remainder/overstock booksellers. The two which regularly send me catalogues are Postscript and Bibliophile. Their prices are a little bit higher than the “High Street” remainder shops – such as The Works – but the range of quality titles is much greater. Here are one or two of the many titles on offer from these two sellers at the moment:

From Postscript –

Blood Iron and Gold: how the railways transformed the world by Christian Wolmar. Hardback £7.99 (full price £25)

The Peak District (Picture the Past series) by Neil Bettridge. Hardback £4.99 (full price £14.99)

Mediterranean Feasts by Rose Elliott. Hardback £5.99 (full price £14.99)

From Bibliophile –

Victorian Farm by Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman. Hardback £9 (full price £20)

William and Catherine: their lives, their wedding by Andrew Morton. Hardback £11 (full price £20)

Fast Cakes by Mary Berry. Paperback £4.50 (full price £8.99)

If it’s a very popular title you are thinking of buying from these sellers, it’s always worth popping into The Works, if you live nearby, just to check if they have any copies, which might be even cheaper. By the way, the stocks of these two booksellers is changing all the time, so I can’t guarantee that the above titles will be available when you log on.

And finally..

Just a couple of titles that you may not have come across: first a new novel by Magnus Mills. A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked in [Bloomsbury £12.99 978-1408821206] is described as “Quirky, curious and very funny” by Ben Schott, the man behind all those fascinating miscellanies. Here’s a quote from the Guardian review: “as utterly odd, as endearing and as disturbing a book as anything that has come before”. I seem to remember reading a book by this author many years ago: I know I enjoyed it, but I can’t remember the title, so I’ll be interested to try this one out.

I don’t often mention war stories – fiction or non-fiction – but this one has been recommended to me. Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: The Most Notorious Double Agent of World War II by Ben Macintyre [Bloomsbury £7.99 978-1408811498]. To find out more watch BBC2 tomorrow evening (15th Nov) at 9 pm. It’s a programme in the “Timewatch” series.

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