Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Book of the week - Rainy Day Stories by Enid Blyton

My book of the week this week is a collection of short stories by Enid Blyton.

As I type this the rain is pelting against my office window so ‘rainy day stories’ feels very apt! The colourful dust jacket is by Eileen Soper and illustrations by Nora S. Unwin.

Twenty Enid Blyton stories with the usual mix of titles including cowardy custard, old Mister Sticky-Bits, Tibbles and the big grey goose, Biddy’s toys and the bear who lost his growl.


Rainy Day stories is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Update July 2016:  March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I am still happily blogging here at March of Time Books. Your visits are always appreciated.

Monday, 27 June 2011

William - the bold; Richmal Crompton


He was holding forth now to the three other Outlaws in the garden, while Jumble, his mongrel dog, occupied himself by burying a paint brush that he had found among the workmen's things in the garage. It was an odd sort of bone, thought Jumble, and had a peculiar taste, but he hoped it would improve with keeping....

William the Bold Pg. 159
By Richmal Crompton

This book is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Friday, 24 June 2011

The not so glamorous life of a used book dealer

A post on Facebook by Jane from Jane Badger books set me thinking about the whole process of buying second hand books.

Jane recounted her experiences of buying ‘lovely new stock in a cold windy car park in Oxfordshire’ and I found myself nodding my head in agreement and thinking about the number of times I’ve done the same kind of thing.

I sometimes think we book sellers are completely mad making these kinds of arrangements but the thrill of not knowing what’s going to emerge from the boot of a car (trailer, horse box, motorbike pannier, barn, greenhouse!) makes it irresistible. Still after one or two ‘strange encounters of the bookish kind’ I decided it was probably better not to go alone so in recent times my long suffering husband has accompanied me on book buying trips.

I've lost count of the number of damp basements, drafty sheds and out of the way garages we’ve visited over the years but to counter that we’ve also met numerous kind and considerate people who have invited us into their homes and provided us with comfy chairs and cups of tea.  Last week saw us visiting one of these kind and considerate sellers, her home was a beautiful four story affair in the middle of a large city. She was waiting for us when we arrived and immediately offered us a drink (of the non alcoholic variety) and set about making us welcome. Once the introductions were over she invited us to take a look at the books on offer “I’m afraid it’s a bit of a climb” she said “as the books are in the attic” 

This is always a moment we dread, but this time it was going to be so much worse, not only a steep ascent into a dark and no doubt spider infested attic but four flights of stairs to climb  – and more importantly four flights of stairs and a ladder to get the books down. Oh joy of joys! So imagine our delight on finding a beautifully converted attic bedroom with amazing views across the city and books neatly arranged on shelves and in boxes. We spent a very enjoyable hour browsing and chatting and came home with some nice stock and good memories of a day well spent. 

Update July 2016; March House Books closed on my retirement in 2016, but I continue to blog here at March of Time Books.  Jane Badger is also a book blogger, and you will find her at Books mud and compost.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award



I've just received the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award from the lovely Kathy Maxwell at Books Kids Like. Thank you Kathy you made my day! Please check out Kathy's blog at Books Kids Like

Now I just have to pass the award along to some blogging friends. There are a few rules associated with the award but not too many and not too difficult so here goes ....




1.  Send a thank you to the person who nominated you and include their link.  
2.  Share seven random facts about yourself.
3.  Pass the award along to at least 8 deserving blog buddies.
4.  Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

I would like to share the award with the following;

Deborah Lawrenson
Down The Rabbit Hole
Fantastic Reads
Journey of a Bookseller
Reading For Sanity
The Book Frog
The Children's War
We Be Reading

Now for the tricky bit!

Seven random facts about me and my March House Books website;

1. I used to be able to walk on my hands while balancing a book on my feet - (now-a-days it's difficult to walk on my feet while balancing a book on my hands!!)

2. I have an aversion to spiders (made worse after being bitten by one in Australia - yes, honestly)

3. March House Books was named 'Website of the month' by Rare Book Review. I knew nothing about it until a customer kindly sent me a copy of the magazine.


4. My grandsons are taller than me

5. The song Bar-Bar-Bar Barbara Anne was written for me (OK it wasn't but I am called Barbara Anne so it might have been)

6. My granny Daisy sat on her pet budgie - granny survived - the budgie didn't

7. I need just two books  to complete my Famous Five collection – Five on a treasure island and Five go to smugglers top. There are lots of reprints available but I’m looking for first editions with the original dust jackets.

Update July 2016; I retired in 2015 so the March House Books website is now closed, but I continue to blog here at March of Time Books.  I've found a first edition of Five go to smugglers top but Five on a treasure island first edition in the original dust jacket still eludes me.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Book of the week: Ladybird Helping at Home


My book of the week this week is another Ladybird ‘learning to read’ book published in 1961. This is a nice 1st edition copy with its original dust jacket.

I adore the illustrations in these early Ladybird books as they take me back to my childhood. This pink Candlewick bedspread is just the same as one my parents had and I clearly remember the wooden headboards (and footboards), even the wallpaper looks familiar!



My dad always wore zipped up cardigans, hand knitted by mum, but his were much fancier than the one worn by this little boys father. Dad’s particular favourite was one covered in moose heads, each one with different antlers; mum loathed it by the time it was finished!

Helping at home is now sold, thank you for your interest.


Monday, 20 June 2011

Meanwhile the horrible red spider

had tied Milly neatly up into a ball, and the poor girl was making frantic cries for help.

Billy the Bumblebee Pg.16
By Victor Bonham-Carter
This book is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Angela Banner : More Ant and Bee


I’ve sold lots of these little books over the years but had no idea just how popular they were until I came across an Ant and Bee fan club on Facebook! 'More Ant and Bee' was written by Angela Banner and originally published in 1955, the copy shown here is a reprint published in 1993.

The first book in the series (Ant and Bee) contained simple three-letter words, and this second book is made up of four-letter words. Now out-of-print and very hard to find.

This book now sold, thank you for your interest.



Update July 2016:  Some of the Ant and Bee books were reprinted by Trafalgar Square Publishing in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  More new editions came out in 2013. These were published by Egmont UK.  The books are much easier to find now so if you are looking for them browsing on ABEbooks.com or Amazon should prove fruitful.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Thank you - no - thank you!

We just wanted to say thank you to all the customers who take the time to contact us with their feedback.  These are just a few of the many comments received;

Many thanks for getting in touch about the book. It's one I read at school as a small boy. I read it a few times; it was falling apart even then and was eventually binned. I can't remember much about it, other than the barest outline and that it was a particular favourite of mine, the sum total of which has left an itch in the back of my mind for a number of years! I haven't found any copies available until this year, despite going so far as to search websites in its native Germany. I'm oddly excited about reading the story again and as for the postal strike, after 28 years, I think I can stand an extra day or two.

Our first ‘thank you’ Tweet;
Thank you so much for finding the book I was looking for, my memory wasn't quite correct in remembering the title!

I just wanted to send you a quick e-mail to let you how delighted my dad was with the annual. I was too excited to save it so gave it to him. It is a link to his past and especially to his brother who died very young. Thank you so much for your time and trouble, if it wasn't for you I don’t know if I would have ever found the correct one.

Thanks again for your most interesting letter and your web site.  Hope you have the right amount of rain and sun to make your flowers happy.  Looking forward to your "finds" from your next buying trip.

I’m so pleased to have a complete copy of this book again!  I think it must be my favourite book of all time!  It actually belonged to my brother (who is 7 years older) and on having a clear out one day my mum decided to give it back to him thinking his small children would like it.  I was so upset when I found it had gone (even though I must have been at least 20 by then) that she asked him for it back.  Unfortunately it came back in a terrible state and with the last page missing and I've never quite forgiven them!  Thanks again from one very happy customer.

This one made us laugh;
I owned this book as a small child and it helped spark an interest in all things electrical. This led to a 30 year career in the electronics industry. So I was delighted to be able to obtain a copy of it. Thanks for your prompt and efficient service. (Ladybird book The Public services - electricity!)

Please don't thank us, we should be thanking you.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Book of the Week - BB's Fairy Book Meeting Hill


This week we are featuring a super copy of BB's Fairy Book - Meeting Hill complete with the scarce variant white and blue dust wrapper.A collection of magical fairy-tales including the little grey men, Uncle Hans, up the Glydebrook, the donkey man, the gentleman in the wig, in Saint Leonard's forest, and pierce the trapper. Beautifully illustrated by D. J Watkins-Pitchford.  

This book is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Cats of assorted colours and Kitty the dog



Kitty the dog, being excited and thinking he was a cat, jumped off the wall too.

A little dog called Kitty Pg.18
By Jane Thayer

Friday, 10 June 2011

The story of Ebenezer Bristles

With the approach of winter, Ebenezer Bristles, the hedgehog, curls up in a ball and goes to sleep. Then, when all the woodland is bursting into new life Ebenezer unrolls, stretches, yawns, and decides that it must be time to get up. Ebenezer is very hungry so, without further ado, he climbs out of the ditch where he has been sleeping and sets off down the path on the look out for his first meal of the year. Ebenezer picks up various odds and ends in the way of things to eat – seeds and acorns from the previous autumn; but there isn't much, for nearly everything has been eaten by the other woodland folk. “They haven’t left much for me, things seem to get worse instead of better,” he complains as he goes along.

He is in this discontented state of mind when he comes upon something that causes him to open his eyes wide in astonishment. Sitting under the shelter of a hedgerow is a strange little person, the like of whom Ebenezer has never seen before. For a minute or two Ebenezer regards the figure in silence before speaking, but the stranger doesn't reply. Bless my stars and garters thinks Ebenezer I know what this is – it’s a baby scarecrow!







The story of Ebenezer Bristles written and illustrated by Ernest Aris published by Ward Lock in 1921.

The story of Ebenezer Bristles is now sold, thank you for your interest. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Book of the Week - The twins, Papa and Parker by Agnes Grozier Herbertson

The twins are Mike and Pamela, who, with a convalescent Papa, and his invaluable man Parker, go to stay at Lavender Beach. There they make friends with a little girl named Pleasaunce, an errand-boy who knows a charm for recovering lost sixpences and a paper-man who drives a donkey-cart.

love the fact that Papa has a ‘man’ named Parker and that the paper man drives a donkey-cart.  I wonder if Pleasaunce was nicknamed Pleasure?


The twins, Papa and Parker by Agnes Grozier Herbertson, illustrated by Jaxon. Published by Blackie c1927. 



Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Books on the Wish List and the Power of Bloggers

Great idea from Catherine at Juxtabooks
Sharing books from the blogosphere thanks to some excellent reviews over the last few months:

I’ve just started reading the first book on Catherine’s list ‘When god was a rabbit’ reviewed by Simon on Savidge Reads

Here are three more with younger readers in mind 

One orange tree that binds a community reviewed by Janice Floyd Durant on Books of Wonder and wisdom

One Dog and His Boy reviewed by Jenny at Wondrous Reads

When a dragon moves in reviewed by Jill at The Well-Read Child

Monday, 6 June 2011

Bunch never misses his afternoon tea

At the precise moment of finality he begs. We spread a newspaper on the carpet so that his tongue and beard will not splash tea as he laps. The comedy arrides us. We know that tea is bad for his nerves. Nevertheless he gets gallons every day!

The Bunch Book Pg. 104
By James Douglas with illustrations by Cecil Aldin
The Bunch Book is now sold, thank you for your interest

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Templecombe Medieval Pageant

We had a fantastic time at this event yesterday and wanted to share some of the photographs with you. If you have never visited you must put it in your diary for next year.  Templecombe is situated on the A357 in Somerset and the pageant is always well signposted.





This is me getting to know one of the owl's

and this is the owl getting to know me - helppppp!!!




Best hairstyle of the day!


Friday, 3 June 2011

Cecil Aldin illustrations for Black Beauty the autobiography of a horse

One of my favourite books, and possibly yours too is the wonderful Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. First published in 1877 it went on to become one of the best-selling books of all time.


The story is narrated by Black Beauty and begins during his carefree days living on a farm. Each chapter recounts different incidents in his life and the lives of other horses he meets along the way some heart warming some heart-breaking. 


A beautiful and moving story with a happy ending.


The Cecil Aldin illustrations used in this post are from Black Beauty the autobiography of a horse published  by Jarrolds of London in 1920.


The copy of Black Beauty featured in this post is now sold, thank you for your interest.

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