Secondhand book finds

One of the hardest things I’m finding about streamlining all my worldly goods is trying to overcome my love of buying books. Bookstores have long been a favourite place of mine to wander about and lose myself amongst all of that papery goodness. In particular, secondhand bookstores hold a place near and dear to my heart – there’s something really lovely about giving new life to a used book. I recently took a turn about one of the preloved stores in the city and found myself having to struggle with not buying at least 5 titles. Somehow though a miracle happened, and I managed to extricate myself from the store without making even one book purchase.

A month or so later I found myself wandering about the very same store and was once more tempted by one of the titles which still had not been sold. This was a copy of ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy – a book I’ve been meaning to read forever and a day. Still I managed to leave the book on the shelf once more and looked in the back to see if there was anything else to tempt me (I have no idea why I put myself in the path of book temptation). Lucky for me I came across a book I’ve been wanting to buy for AGES but could never find the right time (or the right price) – Home is ‘Where the Heart Is’ by Ilse Crawford (after reading her book ‘Sensual Home’, I couldn’t wait to buy this one).

Well there really was nothing I could do but to buy both the books and make a mental note to add two more books from my shelves to the pile of ones to get rid of, thus nullifying the effects of these purchases. I thought I’d show you a little of what ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’ contains, though I won’t do the same for ‘The Road’ – I think you already know what those pages hold: sadness, heartbreak and death.

The type of place I’d like to live in, and the kind of house I’d like to inhabit…

Beautiful images and inspirational thoughts …

I like the idea of thinking less and dreaming more …

This is delicious written food for the soul …


  1. Gabrielle Bryden

    I have the same addiction to books (forced myself to get rid of some really old ones a while back as they were a health hazard with all the dust etc.,). Now I’ve decided books are fine to own – they’re only little 🙂 If I could only have a tiny house, books would be in it and not much else.
    .-= Gabrielle Bryden´s last blog ..The nose has it =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – It’s always nice to hear of other people who ‘suffer’ from book addiction. I think of all the things I’m trying to streamline around the house it is the hardest for me to wave goodbye to my books. I always have those thoughts in my mind like, ‘What if I want to read it again some day?’ or ‘I will read it one day’ … inevitably the books in question end up going back on the shelf. The clean-out of books is clearly a very slow process for me! 😉

  2. Lisa

    Even though I’ve permanently abandoned ‘The Triple Echo’ for idiosyncratic reasons, I’m still quite content to be a capricious respondent on varying blogs, especially yours.

    I do believe I would be completely in sync with Ilse Crawford’s ‘Sensual Home.’ I know I would connect quite nicely with its interior supernatural heart, as I’m sure it would mirror my own… ‘Home is where the heart is?’ sounds inspirationally introspective too, although, for a moment it made me think of a birthday I spent at the infamous bohemian Chelsea Hotel in New York some years ago. I stayed in room 829 where Thomas Wolfe had once lived, and wrote ‘You Can’t Go Home Again.’

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Lisa – Even though I miss your wonderful blog, which has always been a source on mystery, intrigue and inspiration … I happily take comfort from the fact that you still visit here from time to time, to offer your wonderful insights and always fascinating perspectives. For you my dear, the ‘welcome’ sign is always held aloft.

      I also believe you’d adore the philosophy and design inspiration within the pages of ‘Sensual Home’ … actually you’ve reminded me that I really should go back and read that book again, I feel I may have lost my way a little and am in need of a revisit. I’m hoping for a similar inspirational experience from reading ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is?’ … though your memory of New York and Thomas Wolfe will also linger in my mind. I feel I should thank you for living such an interesting life, as you always leave me with such wonderful memories and thoughtful snippets… xx

  3. helena / little mo

    ooh let me know if ‘The Road’ is good, I might take it out from the library. I’m currently reading the book thief now.

    I also love your idea of thinking less and dreaming more. I’ve been meaning to apply that around the house! De-cluttering and leaving more empty spaces around…for dreams possibly!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Helena – I surely will tell you what I think of ‘The Road’ … it’s currently next on my reading list. I have seen the movie, so I have an idea of what it will be like, though I’m told the book is much more powerful and emotionally draining.

      Oh yes, I certainly need to do less thinking (and less cluttering about the house) … I love your idea of leaving ‘more empty spaces for dreams to occupy’ – what a beautiful thought! 🙂

  4. maekitso

    Have you been to Gould’s Book Arcade in Newtown? One of my favorite places to while away the hours. Two massive levels of second-hand books, magazines, CD’s and LP’s, and I swear that half of it is in cardboard boxes stacked 4 foot high in front of every 8 foot high shelf!!!! I don’t give two hoots if I’ve got the math wrong there. It is heaven. Books don’t count as worldly goods in my book. They are supernatural entities.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Brad – No I haven’t been to Gould’s Book Arcade … but it sounds AMAZING!! I will definitely have to pay it a visit, it sounds like I could while away some hours (or days) working through the mammoth collection. Heaven indeed!

      Oh I love your view of books as ‘supernatural entities’ … that is a truly wonderful description (and one I will have to bring to mind when trying to decide whether to keep, sell or giveaway one of my beloved titles).

  5. Andrew Emmett

    Think less, dream more! – Love it!! 🙂

    I also have a passion for secondhand book shops.
    .-= Andrew Emmett´s last blog ..Webcam Adventures =-.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Andrew – Thanks as ever for your visit and for your kind words. It’s always nice to hear I’m not alone in my love of secondhand book stores … seriously Lee and I have spent a LOT of time browsing the shelves of many a store … and what about that wonderful smell that old books have?? … just priceless!! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Andrew Emmett » Blog Archive » The great book hunt

  7. Carly Findlay

    Such awesome finds. You can never have enough books, even as minimalist.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Carly – Oh I definitely agree with that (especially as I have a long way to go before I even approach minimalism!)… 😉

  8. Ricardo

    I need a good distraction from the present turmoil that is my life. I also can fully understand how you can’t part with all the books you’ve accumulated over the years. Sometimes the worldly goods become part of the soul.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – Life gets a bit like that from time to time … it just all gets a bit too crazy and you need to step back and take a breather … I definitely know what that’s like. I really hope things settle down for you soon and you can look forward to fun and excitement related turmoil!!

      I really love how you said that ‘sometimes the worldly goods become part of the soul’ … that is so beautiful and I may just use that as justification to keep a few more books tucked away under the bed! 😉

      Keep well my friend …

  9. Debby

    I hadn’t heard of Isle Crawford’s book Tracey but this looks lovely, thanks for sharing. I don’t think you can ever have too many books… I sometimes long for a pared down simple uncluttered life but I also dream about old houses with libraries lined with shelves of books that you can climb like a mountain…

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Debby – Oh this is a beautiful book Debby! You’re very welcome to have an introduction to her work … I know what you mean about feeling like you can never have too many books … the trouble I see with having lots of books is that each of them don’t get the attention they deserve! 😉

      I’ve got that same split dream as you … that wanting for a simple uncluttered life, and yet also wanting that very comfortable home filled with lots of well-loved books … a style dilemma for the ages! 😉

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