VPGGB #12: Borders Books

Last Thursday I bumbled along to Bristol for a GNO get together, but beforehand I decided to visit the soon to close Borders bookshop in Clifton to join the other vultures customers to see what they had left in the way of bargain books. The occasion reminded me so much of this time last year, when we all descended in a similar fashion on Woolworths in particular, to pick over the remains of that once popular store.

There were only a couple of shelves of gardening books left: long on volumes by Alan Titchmarsh, plus lots of RHS guides on succulents and irises. However, closer inspection revealed a number of gems were still left: quite a few of those pictured have been on my To Read list for a while and the rest looked so interesting (and cheap) that I couldn't resist adding them to the pile. I'm rather glad there weren't even more to choose from, because I suspect I would have simply bought them all. These were all half price, with a further 20% taken off on the day.

Looking at that pile of books in my garden, I can see a distinct shift in my reading tastes. Once it would have been full of design manuals, how to guides, reference books and inspirational works. Inspiration still figures in my choices, but as you can see I'm now tending mainly towards garden writing plus plant and garden history texts. I wonder if that would have happened anyway as my gardening experience matures, or does blogging and the ready availability of garden advice and reference materials on the world wide web have a part to play?

The answer to that question doesn't really matter for now because the more pressing problem of what to do with all those long dark evenings is sorted for a while :)


  1. Jealous of your purchases. My taste has changed as well and I also find myself attracted to books more about the people behind gardening than how to plant a fruit tree or design the border.

  2. Well done as I reckon that you have some interesting books there. You'll have to do some reviews here when you've read them! Flighty xx

  3. Once can never have too many gardening books. What better way to pass away a snowy afternoon than curled up with a garden book and dream of nicer weather. You certainly got some great bargains.

  4. Borders - there's a pun lurking there somewhere

  5. What a great haul VP - you certainly won't be short of reading material over the festive period :)

  6. Great shopping, VP! We have Borders bookstores here too, is it the same outfit? I am positive that blogging and reading blogs has changed the books we purchase. When someone does a book review, I check it out right away. The ones we end up buying are usually more in depth philosophies of gardening rather than any how tos. Good writing and new perspectives are what we are looking for now, more than how to grow a certain plant, or even how to design a new bed. We want a more sweeping stroke with a view to the long term. Glad you will have plenty of material on long nights ahead but sorry to see a bookstore close. :-)

  7. Oh they look good! I have a number of requests for gardening books out for Christmas presents. You can never have too many.

  8. VP, I was surprised to learn that your choice of books had followed the same pattern as mine! I have lots of gardening books! Your books were a good buy, I would have bought most of these books, given a chance - the rest I already have!

    Enjoy you reading. Best wishes Sylvia

  9. Oh, yum - better than any Christmas Cake & will last longer too!!

  10. Oooh, lovely books :)
    R said our Borders was selling off their shelves as well, so if anyone wants any cheap bookcases, they are worth checking out!
    Sadly I doubt I will be able to get there in time though - Cambridge just before Christmas is not somewhere I want to be!

  11. Hi everyone - it was a good haul and I'm very pleased :)

    Flighty - reviews to follow here and/or on Amazon

    Mark - I didn't even spot the pun! Standards are slipping here :(

    Frances - yes, it's the same Borders, though I expect the UK version is set up as a separate company. I did see it's also in difficulty in the US, but I'm not sure if it's to the same extent as here in the UK.

    Juliet - I had to haul that little lot home on the train. I don't think my arms could stretch (!) to a bookcase, no matter how tempting ;)


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