I had ten minutes spare while in Bristol and, with unerring accuracy, managed to find a second-hand bookshop in the middle of a massive food-market-thingy. That resulted in five paperback Westerns (woo!) and A History of the Ancient Egyptians. The latter, from 1908, is already proving useful - nicely organised, compact and pretty, pretty maps.
Of course, since I was on the road all week, that justified a bit of eBay action, and I've found a first edition of Tim Powers' Earthquake Weather to add to the "back-breaking pile of things to take to World Fantasy". I'm not going to lie - it ain't my favourite Powers, but there's no bad Powers, and all my favourites are already signed, allowing me some wiggle room in the bookstalking.
The highlight of the week was a trip to Gosh! I don't get there enough, because the "goat path" (actual retail term from the early-00s) of my daily travel doesn't take me through Soho. That said, I need more excusees to get there, because, well. Wowsers. Gosh! are also kind enough to take reservations through Twitter. So last week, there was an exchange something like this:
Gosh: Bookplated editions of the new Tom Gauld are in.
Me: OH MY GOD GIVE ME I NEED I NEED SO MUCH GIVE ME NOW
Gosh: On hold for you.
Which is much more considerate than, say, a restraining order.
Anyway, we're now the proud owners of Jon Klassen's This is not my hat (best book of the year), Brian Wood/Kristian Donaldon's The Massive (dunno, looked pretty), Cristian Ortiz's Golden Campaign ('cause Gosh! has the most amazing table of indie comics) and, of course, a bookplated edition of Tom Gauld's wonderful new You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack. (Gauld is also signing at the shop on the 24th - I hope I can make it, but having my copy already feels like insurance for when the week goes wacky.)
Bookplated edition: Gosh! just... do these occasionally. Artists draw and sign bookplates exclusively for the shop, and they're universally lovely. They don't cost any more than the normal editions, but they're basically packaged with free art. We've got a half-dozen now (including the stunning piece that Becky Cloonan did for Demo II) and love 'em.
Annoying, because looking at the link above, I somehow missed Sarah McIntyre's Vern and Lettuce and Ian Culbard's The New Deadwardians. Which means, of course, I'll have to head back to Gosh! next week...
All things considered, the "no Amazon" thing isn't really slowing me down...