I’m super excited to share my very first Thrifty Thursday post! Thrifty Thursday is a meme run by Sal over at Motion Sick Lit (an excellent book blog – go check it out here). Thrifty Thursday goes like this:
1. Each week’s link-up will be posted on Thursday.
2. Post or talk about a used book you’ve found (preferably in a book store or thrift shop).
3. The book must cost less than $5.
4. Be sure to return for the link-up! Weird or strange books are preferred.
So basically, find a second-hand book for cheap and talk about it!
Considering my book buying ban this year, I’m likely to spend a little more time in my local second-hand book store (obviously I’ll only be exchanging books, not buying them) (or will I?). On my second to last visit there, I picked up a copy of Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea. It caught my attention because I thought the cover was kind of cool, and printed on that cover were the words, “Booker Prize Winner 1978”. This means it could be a hit or a miss (I have a rough track record when it comes to the enjoyment of books that have won this prize), but the only way to find out is to read it.
The book price of the book was bang on $5 (although I’m pretty sure I traded in some books, so it would have cost me less than that but let’s pretend I paid $5). At my local bookshop this sells for $14.99, and on Book Depository it’s $20.47, which surprises me because Book Depository is usually much cheaper than my local, but based on the lower price I’ve made a saving $9.99, which is about the cost of two large coffees for me.
I didn’t really read the blurb of this book before purchased it, but the Goodreads blurb uses the words “weird”, “spectral”, and “magic”, so I’ve accidentally potentially picked up a weird/strange book. Go team me! I’d also never heard of Murdoch before I bought this book and looking at her other work, she’s definitely an author I’ll be on the lookout for in future trips to the second-hand store. I expect to develop a slight obsession with her, similar to the one I have with Patricia Highsmith (remember my love for Tom Ripley?).
A bonus for my $5 (that I didn’t notice until I started planning this post) – a mysterious note is written on the first page. It makes me wonder what the people were like who owned this book before me. One of life’s great unanswered questions.
On this occasion someone has left a note on the very first page for someone else, letting them know they’ve turned the iron off. The inside of a book seems like an odd place to leave a note, because unless you leave the book open on that page, or the reader is about to start the book new, chances are the note will never be seen. Anyway.
The note writer comes across as a little frustrated, as the note begins with “Yes”, like they get asked all the time if they turned the iron off. Maybe they’re a very forgetful person. Really it’s kind of them to leave this note because, as a person who lives with someone who occasionally forgets to turn the iron off, and frequently forgets to turn lights off and lock doors (amongst other things), I get how annoying it is to be the one who always does the reminding. So props to this note leaver for being considerate (even if their note may never have been seen).
Also, they wrote the time at the end of the note – what significance does this time have? Is it the time they turned the iron off? Or is it the time they wrote the note.
Perhaps this is all wrong and it was a just a little reminder to themselves. You know: “Don’t panic when four hours after leaving home you suddenly think you may have left the iron on. It’s ok – you turned it off. The house will still be standing when you get home.”
We’ll never know.