‘Well, prince, Genoa and Lucca are now no more-than private estates of the Bonaparte family…’

I am on the first page of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’  and I shall be here in ten years time. The book is heavy and could be used to anchor a 4×4 on a steep hill. It is a 1960 reprint and the sleeve is intact. I love the John Groth illustrations and the faded blue cover. I found this book, lying on the pavement, outside a ‘Second Hand’ shop in town. It is not what you think – the owner didn’t hurl it at a seagull rummaging in a Cornwall County Council rubbish bin – It was with many other, more boring, books beckoning passers by to take them home. I did an impression of the Bionic Man and my eyes focused on two unusual books; War and Peace and a 1958 edition of the Post Office London Directory.

In all the excitement I switch to a descriptive present tense!

The latter is just as beautiful as the Tolstoy reprint. It is a faded red hardback and has an amasing illustrative advert for ST MARTIN’S TYPEWRITER CO.LTD on the front cover. The directory is as big as my sink and I wander at my strength in getting both books back to my flat.

I reflect that all the books were in boxes with a hand written sign – PLEASE HELP YOUR SELF BOOKS FOR FREE.

I suppose that it is possible that someone had torn off the ending of the sign, giving the instruction a whole new meaning!


Anyway, the Directory looks good as a stand for a reading light and they have certainly cheered me up.

Too much of my time is taken up with the effort of challenging my own invasive negative internal dialogue. War and Peace is described as ‘entertaining’ and that is good.

My Asperger Syndrome co-morbid thoughts will be the death of me!

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