Being a complete list of all the secondhand books I bought during my summer holiday in Norfolk, with my "reasons" for buying them:
The Pattern of English by G. H. Vallins Pelican 1957
“The developments in the construction of the English prose sentence from the earliest times to the present day.” I’m unsure now why I thought this was worth buying, except to make up the numbers on a five-for-a-pound deal at a village fête.
Hear us O Lord from heaven thy dwelling place by Malcolm Lowry Penguin 1969
The cover has an attractive woodcut by George Tute; I like inscriptions: this one has the owner’s name, N. Ingpen, and the enigmatic note “(W.T.C. October 1970)”.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine, ed. with introduction by Isaac Kramnick Penguin American Library 1982
Nice cover: the Bennington Flag of 1776. You can’t have too many copies of Common Sense, and I only have two.
High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, Panther 1979
I’m writing about Hughes for the LRB, and needed a reading copy. This is an ugly commercial paperback; the main feature of interest is the jacket copy, which consists mainly of endorsements from Hugh Walpole, Cyril Connolly and Arnold Bennett - who, in 1979, gave a fig for their opinions?
Mario and the Magician and Other Stories by Thomas Mann Penguin Modern Classics 1975
Cover badly creased but I wanted the opening story, “A Man and His Dog”, because I’m working with Tim Dee on a series for BBC Radio 4 about dogs in literature and life, to be broadcast late next year.
The Friendly Dog: An Anthology ed. J. Parson Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd. 1912