Thursday, 29 October 2009

The First Book I Bought

I've been moving books around ready for the painter to decorate the hall and landing. It's taking for ever because I keep stopping to read bits. One of the books I came across was the very first book I ever bought for myself, using my own money. I can remember the shop clearly, a little gift shop in Barnes with a small book section. I was waiting for my mother to buy something, and browsing the books when I discovered Venetia by Georgette Heyer.

I can't remember what prompted me to buy it - it's not a great cover - but I can remember the thrill of reading the first few pages, the initial difficulty in understanding her style, then suddenly 'getting it' and avidly devouring the whole book at one sitting. I felt I had discovered a new world, one that had nothing to do with school or family, or even friends. Private, delicious, my own.

Holding that old battered copy of Venetia in my hands, the characters flooded back: beautiful Venetia, dashing Lord Damerel, the abominable Mrs Scorrier. And with the characters came echoes of sparkling dialogue, witty ripostes, vivid descriptions. I turned to the first page and started to read...


Lesley Cookman said...

Just done almost exactly the same - with the same book. And of course, we share a favourite author, Elizabeth Goudge, but there again - I love red wine. Non sequitur for anyone who hasn't read your website.

I dimly remember becoming "Best friends" at an RNA conference once...or was it somewhere else?

Sarah Duncan said...

Well, as we've had the same experience with the same book and we share favourite author I reckon we must be twins, despite the red wine.

I think it might have been the RNA winter party, I visualise you with a Inst of Mech Eng background.