Annabel's House of Books

Noli domo egredi, nisi librum habes – Never leave home without a book.

Weekend Bits and Bobs

I was in the middle of drafting a post setting out my own stall about where I get my books from etc after all the toing and froing on the subject lately. But, Simon Savidge’s impassioned post, (written after Gav and he got attacked on Twitter over where they got their books from), beat me to it, and I decided that he’s already said most of it. Instead I’ll just add a couple of comments below on my personal stance rather than a full (and potentially repetitive and boring) post:

mostly_booksI buy more books than I can really afford from my local indie bookshop Mostly Books in Abingdon, whom I am always very happy to promote. However, I’m a single mum on a part-time salary – so charity shops, second hand bookshops, the supermarket, bookshop chains, and online through Amazon, the Book People etc. will all get my custom from time to time.

Having been blogging for several years now, I’m lucky enough to be sent books from publishers and authors, and I review for Amazon Vine – Thank you.  I’ve only ever requested two books directly from publishers and felt guilty about doing that. These days, I purely respond to titles offered for review, only picking those I’m genuinely interested in reading.  I do not sell on any review copies that I receive. 

I have monetized (horrid word) my blog, with affiliate links to Amazon and The Book Depository.  I hope I make the links clear, and I am not forcing anyone to click through – it’s just there if you want to.  In nearly five years of blogging, I’ve received £29.80 in Amazon vouchers through referrals resulting in sales.  Part of me says I should drop the affiliations, as they promote the company only making treat- money for me, but if I find it useful to click through occasionally elsewhere so may others – I’m undecided on this though…

Mini-rant over now …

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I’m still working on gradually updating my blog’s indexes, but I’ve been toying with the sidebar too lately.  I discovered a great new widget to highlight posts I’ve ‘liked’ elsewhere. See the ‘Posts I Like’ section over there.

Sadly it only works with other WordPress powered blogs, so please, all my Blogger, Typepad and other service blog-friends don’t feel left out and see my bookish blog-roll for lots of other great blogs.  (Arrow image credit)

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crane wifeLastly, I’ve just finished reading The Crane’s Wife by Patrick Ness.  It was a lovely book and my review will follow.  It did make me cry (again – something Ness is good at!).

I often shed a little tear when watching TV or films and reading – am I over-sentimental, or is it something you do too?

Do tell me about the books that have made you cry …

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Enjoy the (long in the UK) weekend.  



  1. I buy mostly from waterstones as we no indie shop nearby which is a shame or second hand ,I ve only request a book once ,all the best stu

  2. Great post. Don’t feel guilty over advertising if you find it useful. It’s up to you what you do with your blog after all. I haven’t succumbed to advertising yet and by the sums you mention received in 5 years, maybe not worth it, although every little counts. As I am not currently earning I pick up books from charity shops or the library for now. I still visit regular book shops to have a sniff, nothing like the smell of a new book 😉

    • Thanks Booketta for your reassurance. There’s just been such a lot of anti-Amazon feeling lately, plus comments about ethical sourcing – and of course used purchases don’t generate royalties for the authors – I’ll save that for another time I get cross. Have a good weekend. :)

  3. There *is* a lot of anti Amazon feeling about but what are we to do? Like you, I can’t afford to shop new all the time and I have no indie shop closer than 40 miles away. I use the local Waterstones and the many charity shops and try to buy direct from places like Awesome. Trouble is, so much of what I want is old or obscure or out of print – I struggled in Waterstones in Leicester recently to find anything I actually wanted…. Let’s face it, what *is* ethical nowadays? Do we shop at Primark or Gap since both probably use the same type of factory in the same country but Gap just have a bigger mark up. *Sigh* I guess we just have to spread our purchasing around as much as we can!

  4. It’s so hard to find good places to buy books. I so wish there was an Indie bookshop near me – yours looks wonderful. I have heard a rumour that there is omeone trying to open an indie bookshop just outside the city centre I really hope it happens.

  5. I’ve never read Patrick Ness but I am really tempted by this book. Is it a YA read? What other books of his do you recommend?

    You have a great blog, excellent reviews, supportive of books and authors, just keep doing what you are doing, there’s no need to justify your activity or how it manifests, the comments of approval and encouragement and appreciation on your blog speak loudest.

    • Thanks Claire :) This is Ness’s first full adult novel. His others are wonderful too for older children/YA – I’d recommend the Chaos Walking trilogy for a thought-provoking dystopian adventure, and A Monster Calls was (for me) phenomenal – you’ll find my reviews if you pick Ness in my categories search. Haven’t read his other earlier ones yet – but want to.

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