With apologies to the late James W. Best for appropriating his image (from his 1935 Forest Life in India)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Of Books and Bream

Rummaging in second-hand book shops is one of the great pleasures in life, but when it comes to finding that elusive title you've been after for years, at an affordable price, the internet has been an absolute Godsend. Buying things through the post is another of life's great pleasures, anyway.

One of my most treasured old books, one I found rummaging a few years back, is this 1962 Belmont Books paperback edition of a title first published in 1956 by John Day:


It's a great read – a 'must' for any Miller fan – but I love it as much for its stylish cover as its content.

One scarce and hence usually quite expensive book that I knew about for years before eventually finding an underpriced copy online is this one, published by Adam & Charles Black in 1966:


I have been a lifelong coarse-fishing addict, bream are probably my favourite fish, and much of this book is about 'the old days' on perhaps my favourite venue, the Thames at Medley in Oxford, so Bream Fever ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Talking of fishing at Medley, here's a lovely old postcard of a painting by pre-First World War artist Alex Austen:


And no, that's not me in the boat – though I wish it was.