Following a 90-minute breather at the hotel, I was refreshed and ready for the next adventure.
A walk through Bloomsbury followed – destination 48 Doughty Street. From the home of John Millais to the home of Charles Dickens. This trip was turning into a real C19th extravanga. Even though I’m by no means the greatest Dickens fan- although I suspect that that could change if I applied myself a little more – I still found my visit to his former home fascinating and was particularly pleased when during the video presentation I spotted the autobiographical references contained in Our Mutual Friend.
I found a new favourite painting. I’m told it’s unfinished but I think Dickens’s Dream works beautifully just as it is. The characters closest to the author fully formed and finished, those further away floating into his consciousness waiting for their flesh and bones to form …..
From the Dickens Museum back through Bloomsbury, past the former home of D L Sayers, to Lamb’s Conduit Street. Destination Persephone Book Shop .
You all know what happened next …. Fortunately I was running late so I missed the bloggers congregating and encouraging each other to buy, buy, buy! (Not that I’m saying you’re a bad influence, mind.) Hence I contained myself and bought only one book, as a souvenir, as you do. When in Bloomsbury, you have to buy Woolf. But Virginia doesn’t appeal to me, so I opted for her husband’s novel, The Wise Virgins.
After all this activity, it was time for refreshments and I found those just up the road in The Lamb. 17 other book bloggers (you’ll find links to them all below) awaited to refresh the spirits, revive a tired mind and generally delight with tales of kindred biblioholism. So busy were we talking books …. and bookshops …. that I think we forgot to take any pictures! Well, I took one of the bookswap pile.
When the distributing had been done, I found myself the owner of a book I’d never heard of – The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki. The blurb proclaims it a Japanese masterpiece. The question is do I read it before or after David Mitchell’s latest? Decisions, decisions ….
So we chatted on into the night about our foibles and more than once nodded empathetically at the reading and book care habits of a fellow bibliophiliac. Then it was time to leave. I thought I’d visited all the bookstores on my agenda until Kimbofo said farewell with “Don’t forget to visit …”.
British Book Bloggers in attendance:
Boof (The Book Whisperer)
Claire (Paperback Reader)
David (Follow the Thread)
Hayley (Desperate Reader)
Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
Katy (5th Estate)
Kim (Reading Matters)
Kirsty (Other Stories)
Naomi (Bloomsbury Bell)
Polly (Novel Insights)
Rachel (Book Snob)
Sakura (Chasing Bawa)
Simon S (Savidge Reads)
Simon T (Stuck In A Book)
Verity (The B Files / Verity’s Virago Venture)