I know you love bookstacks. Don’t say I’m not good to you. 😉

August is usually the prime time for acquisitions at Lizzy’s Library, given the temptations associated with the Edinburgh Book Festival. However, this year I have a purchase allowance – 1 purchase per 3 books read or culled – and I needed a strategy, if I was to keep within it.

  • Have a purchase allowance before EIBF begins.
  • Do not buy any books that can be borrowed from the library.
  • Avoid the charity book shops while in Edinburgh.

Simples. Or was it?

I read 10 EIBF related titles prior to the festival (see bookstack 1) and a cull of 20 books gave me a reasonable purchase allowance of 10. Rule 2 and South Lanarkshire Libraries have “saved” me from making 7 purchases. (7 TBR in Bookstack 2).

Bookstack 3 – the EIBF-related purchases – is the interesting one. In theory, none of these books should be available from my library, but 2 of them are.

I was always going to buy The Marriage Portrait on its launch date. The waiting list at the library is huge. As for Tiny Tales, James McNaughtie was so enthusiastic about it at Alexander McCall Smith’s event, that I simply picked up a signed-copy when the opportunity presented itself, completely forgetting about the library rule. Philippe Sands with his talk about the Chagos Islands made me pick up the Fitzcarraldo title “Diego Garcia”, despite me not having attended the author’s event. All the other authors in bookstack 3 did their own selling.

Are you keeping count? I’m on track. I still have a purchase allowance of 3. I can go to the charity shops. So I did as a reward for exercising so much control. Emerging from my favourite Oxfam book shop in Stockbridge with 4, put me 1 above purchase allowance. No biggie. It wasn’t until I went home that I remembered the 2 pre-releases and 2 other online orders placed during August. Leaving me 5 above purchase allowance. (Cf the allowance busting bookstack 4.)

And that, my friends, is how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Talking of jaws ….

That’s one off the bucket list!

“He has terrible tusks and terrible claws and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws. He’s the Gruffalo.”

The Gruffalo Song