In an effort to get things rumbling I stumbled round town this afternoon looking for last minute crucial things and worrying shopkeepers who all clearly thought I was going to ‘pop’ in their aisles. In a lovely little bookshop called Badgers Books I got an excellent hoard of 2nd hand books the whole lot for less than £12:
Anthony Trollope – first of the Palliser novels – Can you Forgive Her?
PG Wodehouse – Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves and The Code of the Woosters.
Nancy Mitford – Love in Cold Climate and Noblesse Oblige
Vita Sackville-West – All Passion Spent
The nice, bookshoppy woman with floaty clothes who sold them to me looked at my distented belly and said ‘are these books for when you won’t be going out for a while?’. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘books for the breast feeding era.’ She laughed and said, ‘well I think they are an excellent choice of books.’ ‘Thanks,’ I said, ‘with my first baby I tried to read ‘The Russians’ whilst breastfeeding but it didn’t work.’
She laughed again. I’m glad I’ve found a nice bookshop. I also bought The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. It’s like a version of the cold war. Instead of filling my larder with tinned spam I am obsessively buying books.
Now, though, I have the CRUCIAL decision: what to read next? Because, whatever I read next – unless it’s something very short, which I could do – is the book that will come to hospital with me. Whether I’ll be in any state to read is another matter, I’m guessing not, but it wouldn’t do not to have something in the bag. God. What a decision. It’s worse than what to take on flights/holidays/long weekends.
I’m thinking I should save all the 20s/30s frippery and maybe indulge in Wolf Hall, get lost in the Tudors. Perhaps imminent childbirth horrors/operations could be countered by Henry VIII? Or is that just optimistic thinking?