Sunday, January 10, 2010

Finding hard-to-find Bookers

Cross-posted from my blog:

When I first realized my Complete Booker goal was in sight, I was actually more worried than excited.  Why?  Because some of the books I need to read are old and hard to find.  Three were especially elusive:
  • 1974 – Holiday (Stanley Middleton)
  • 1970 – The Elected Member (Bernice Rubens)
  • 1969 - Something to Answer For (P.H. Newby)
My local library didn't have them, they had been on my Paperbackswap wishlist for two years, and copies on Amazon were often quite expensive.  Then, two well-read friends came to my rescue, offering to lend me their copies of Holiday and The Elected Member.  That was all well and good, but I kept remembering this post on The Complete Booker, where Lisa described paying 225 AUD to get her hands on a copy of Something to Answer For.  Well that just gave me the heebie-jeebies.  Would I be able to live with myself if I couldn't read the very first Booker Prize winner?

Enter The Book Depository. I'd heard great things about this site (free worldwide shipping, for one!), but I hadn't purchased anything from them yet.  I was browsing the site just after Christmas, when lo and behold, I discovered a Faber Finds edition of Something to Answer For.  It was $25 US, more than I'd usually pay for a paperback, but since I'm borrowing those other two books ... and Santa hadn't brought me any books ... well, I think it was OK, don't you?  The book arrived yesterday and I'm quite happy with it.  The Faber Finds edition was published in 2008, so it doesn't have the "mildly groovy design" of Lisa's vintage copy, but I'm so glad Faber is restoring "lost classics" such as this!  And I'm thankful for The Book Depository, both for their wide selection, and free shipping!

Where do you find your Booker reads?


  1. I just bought my first (Wold Hall), so no trouble finding books yet. But down the road, I might have to take drastic measures.


  2. SO glad you found it and it's pleasing you. I like your rationalization of the price since you borrowed the other books...totally something I would do :)

  3. I've LOVED The Book Depository for about a year now. A year ago (or so) the exchange rate was better and I got some great deals, but I still love it for books that aren't available yet(or hard to find) in the USA.

    Glad you found it, too!

  4. Guess I am lucky with my local library service in the UK (Surrey). I have Something to Answer For out on loan from them at present. I did have to pay a reservation fee as it was in the reserve store but £1 is hardly going to break the bank!