Anyway, there was a very large bookstall where I spent a happy 45 minutes before my own volunteering stint clearing tables and washing up. First find was a Virago edition of Angel by Elizabeth Taylor which I clutched (appropriately enough) while listening to the choirboys singing The First Nowell. Also found: Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler (which I think I have read before), Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thurbron and a lovely emerald-green hardback of After Julius by Elizabeth Jane Howard, a much under-rated writer. Also, SS-GB by Len Deighton, simply because I love his spy fiction. Well, I love any spy fiction really .
The Good Companion picked up a Charles Handy book, The Empty Raincoat, and said, 'Oh, I remember this, it's good, I wouldn't mind reading this again. Haven't we got a copy?'
'That is our copy,' I muttered, out of the side of my mouth, and smiled ingratiatingly.
'Shall I buy it back for you? It's only 20p, I think I can manage it.'
'No, no, it's okay.'
After that, the afternoon became a case of spot the give-away.
'And is this ours? And was this ours? ... And this?'
Well, I have to clear the shelves and donate in order to make room for new stuff, don't I?