January book find and Zero Waste books?

The other weekend we went for a lovely walk to a small riverside hamlet near to where we live. The village has only 40 occupants and a tiny church. The beautiful Cotswold stone cottages made me think how our village must have looked at one point but, because of various factors, ours has now grown to a population size of 2,000.

Yet even in this tiny hamlet we came across a source of second-hand goodies. Inside the church was a well-stocked bookshelf. The sale of these books raised funds for the building. My husband and I both picked out books we had wanted to read for a while (depsite my best intentions to slim down our bookshelves!).


I bought this book by Patrick Leigh Fermor. ‘A Time of Gifts’ is the first of a series of three books he wrote about his amazing travels across a pre-war Europe. We plan to travel by train to Italy and Germany later this year and his description of the German towns along the Rhine are very evocative.

Last week I also decided what to spend my Waterstone’s book voucher on. I had been having problems with this as I am trying to reduce our books (see here). However on a trip to Bath I spotted a book I had wanted for ages. I may have mentioned I have a little girl crush on Bea Johnson, the woman behind Zero Waste Home. She lives in California and, along with her family, aspires to live a rubbish free life. Anyway looking very lonely on the bookshelf in Waterstones was this single copy of Bea’s book:


Yes, I realise there is something ironic about buying a book on Zero Waste (especially when I am trying to Reduce, which is one of Bea’s ‘Five Rs’). But I have already read it cover to cover and it has given me loads of ideas and inspiration.

As for the Patrick Leigh Fermor book I picked up, I plan to pass this on/donate when I’ve finished. I’m also slowly building a pile of books to lend out or read once and then pass on.


3 thoughts on “January book find and Zero Waste books?

  1. I am a member of a Facebook page on zero waste and recently we had a discussion on books. I learned from this that authors will get a fee, albeit small, from people borrowing their books, which relieved me. It’s sad when writers put effort into a work and get no returns, even if on the whole it is better to buy second hand rather than new. Besides, I can imagine your acquisition will be much loved 🙂

  2. Funnily enough my husband has a book out next month (non fiction) and he was saying about getting a small amount of money from libraries which I hadn’t even thought about. It’s a good point as I’d always assumed libraries bought the books and that was it.

  3. It was an unintended and yet happy serendipity that I bought Fermor’s “A Time of Gifts” at a used book shop at the far end of Crete, in Paleohora. It wasn’t until later that I appreciated the coincidence. I thought my prep school education and university BA in ancient history and German grounded me pretty well in things European. After reading Fermor, I realize I “don’t know jack”. This is a great book. The writing is fine, the content superb. It is wonderful for all the adventures and carefree wanderings. Yet this story is poignant: not only for the glimpses of what is to come in WWII, but also because Fermor passes through a world that is gone forever. His journey would be impossible today. Read it and keep it.

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