It’s been a blustery Good Friday in Surrey today, the rain hasn’t stopped once.
Bored and restless, I decided to head to a little local town, with an array of small, but fabulous charity shops. I’ve been on the hunt for a second-hand illustrated copy of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness for research, and some specific Jacqueline Wilson books for my collection; but I also just adore a random charity shop haul.
Naively of me, I assumed that most shops would be running business as usual on this bank holiday; they were not. But two charity shops were open, so I thought I’d have a little coffee and casual browse in the rain anyway.
Whilst I didn’t find anything by Patrick Ness, I was delighted at what I did manage to find.
Firstly, I picked up a hardback First American Edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the grand sum of £1.50. I couldn’t walk away without it. To be honest, first editions or not, if I could save all the Harry Potter books in the world, I most certainly would. They are objects of absolute beauty for me.
Secondly, I found two Jacqueline Wilson books; one I’ve read and one I have not. The Suitcase Kid, a book I am confident most girls born in 1990 onwards have read and thoroughly enjoyed; a tale about a young girl called Andrea whose parent’s marriage has broken down beyond repair, it follows her emotional journey as she has to learn to split her time between two homes. This I picked up for £0.50. Next to it, I found a book I was not familiar with, Lily Alone, in which the blurb only reveals ‘Lily’s Things to Remember!’ List.
From this, as with many other of her books such as The Illustrated Mum and the tale of a mother’s manic depression and the effects on her children, it would seem Wilson has yet again brought to the fore realistic, gritty and dark situations for children and make them approachable and understandable for a young audience. I thoroughly look forward to reading this book. Again this only cost me £0.50.
I shocked myself with my third purchase. As an extremely loyal Roald Dahl fan, I’ve found it relatively hard to come to terms with the fact that Quentin Blake has illustrated some of the works of David Walliams. It isn’t that I don’t respect Walliams as an author; it is that I hold Dahl in such high regard. HOWEVER, recently, I was made to watch the TV production of Billionaire Boy. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the storyline. It was great and refreshing to see something so silly for children and in a sense good clean fun, but also hilarious for adults too. So I read the book. Again, I loved it. Therefore, I was chuffed to find a copy of Ratburger by David Walliams, purchased for £1.00.
For my final book purchase, I had to buy one of my favourite Beatrix Potter tales. Of course, Peter Rabbit tops them all, but when I was very small, I had a copy of The Tale of Two Bad Mice. When I saw it there, hardback, green cover, slightly tatty and worn by child hands, the memories of my late childhood nights, sat up reading until my little eyes could take no more, came flooding back like a tidal wave. I had to have it, £0.50.
As I was shuffling the books back into their rack, I noticed out of the corner of my eye an extremely familiar little cartoon boy, staring back at me in his long coat of green. I squealed with sheer delight. It was an unused, illustrated bag featuring Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince). There was never a moment I was going to walk away without having bought that bag. It is an absolutely stunning piece of memorabilia and I am thrilled to have found it, all for £3.95, labels and all.
Charity Shop shopping is one of my favourite things to do. My mother taught me from a young age to seek out a real bargain, or perhaps, to just find something beautiful for yourself. After all, one man’s trash …
Check out my Accidental B&M Haul, here.