adventures, books & creative lifestyle.

Inheriting My Uncle's Old Books

As you already know, I recently took a trip to the Scottish Borders to see my family and I had an incredible time. Check out my latest Adventures with Bee post if you haven't already! My Aunt is packing up and moving to France so she said that I could have a look through my Uncle's old bookshelves to see whether I wanted to take anything home with me. I took around 17 secondhand and used books. Yikes! I thought I'd share a selection of my favourites with you in the form of a used book haul in order to inspire you to go out and get yourself some beautiful books. If you're inspired to raid your family members shelves, please nick the books quickly and quietly to avoid suspicion or ask your family member's permission, whatever...I want to know all about the books you've inherited and the books that you'd like to pass down to future generations so leave your ideas in the comments! 

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of mice and men / cannery row by john steinbeck
Like pretty much everyone else my age, I read Of Mice and Men at school. Unlike the majority of people my age, I actually enjoyed it! Sometimes you just want to sit down and read an American novel, y'know?! I thought I'd rehome my Uncle's old Penguin Modern Classics copy because it also includes Cannery Row that I haven't read yet. Cannery Row is supposedly told through a sequence of vignettes devoid of a real sense of plot so I'm looking forward to giving it a go. I've heard a lot about Steinbeck's other works, particularly East of Eden, so feel free to recommend me some to read.

after many a summer by aldous huxley
I posted my Brave New World book review just last month but I'm already the owner of another of Huxley's works. I don't think his other books are quite as well known or as highly regarded but I'm looking forward to trying this out! After Many A Summer is about man's desire to live indefinitely so it should be pretty interesting. 

heart of darkness by joseph conrad
I have heard so many things about this classic but, admittedly, I have been put off a bit because I've heard it's steeped in racism. A lot of the classics that I've read have been similar though so I guess I should just go for it. If you didn't already know, Heart of Darkness is about a nomadic explorer who travels to Africa to discover how a guy named Kurtz has gained power. We shall see how it goes. 

the trial by franz kafka
Kafka is one of those authors that I've always heard about and seen referenced but also one that I've never really been inspired to read. However, seeing as it was free, I thought I'd give it a go. My Goodreads friends have only given this book 1 or 2 star ratings so I don't have very high hopes for this one but it's good to try things out, eh?! People seem to rate The Metamorphosis highly so maybe I'll give that a go afterwards and see how I feel!  

I've read some of Orwell's essays before so I thought this would be another collection to try out when I've got a spare minute. This collection covers a lot of different topics so hopefully there will be something to interest me. Check out my Books vs. Cigarettes book review if you're interested in what I had to say about his other collection.   

the loved one by evelyn waugh
I've had Handful of Dust sat on my shelf for a year now but I haven't felt inspired to pick it up yet. However, when I read the blurb for The Loved One, I had an inkling that it would be something I'd really enjoy reading. It's about a guy that finds himself in a memorial park where he eventually enters into a bizarre world full of interesting sounded characters. It's apparently a satire of the cultural divide in America. It's about death too so that basically makes me a happy little goff. 

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catch 22 by joseph heller 

My cousin thrust this upon me and said I had to read it so I went with it! I'm pretty glad I did to be honest because it's a pretty well known book and this cover is quite iconic. It follows a guy called Yossarian who is trying to save his skin from the horrible chances of war. There seems to be a lot of positive reviews so maybe I'll devote some time post-uni to it.

romeo and juliet by william shakespeare 

I've read Romeo and Juliet a few times now but I've never had my own copy so my cousin said I could take my Uncle's copy away with me. Whilst the star-cross'd lovers play isn't my favourite, I do really like it so I'm probably going to have to re-read it sometime soon. 

the diary of a nobody book haul vivatramp book lifestyle blog ukthe diary of a nobody book haul secondhand books book blog blogger vivatramp

the diary of a nobody by George Grossmith
I have an eye for seeking out Folio Society editions and my eyes lit up when I saw this beautiful copy hidden away on a shelf! It's just absolutely stunning. Grossmith's tale is pretty much a suburban exposé, of sorts, that is supposedly meant to be funny in its familiarity. It was first published in 1892 so it's probably not going to be too relateable but I just couldn't resist picking up this beautiful copy. 

If you'd like to scroll through all of my book blog posts then you can. Or, alternatively, you could just flick through my book hauls instead.




  1. wow the diary of a nobody has such a beautiful book cover! i haven't read nearly as many as these books as i'd like to, but i did really enjoy of mice and men :)

  2. OMG these are all so perfect! Can't wait to read your review of the Huxley book :) x

  3. Oh, such beautiful books! I love how old they look. I have Catch 22 and really struggled to get through it. Maybe I'll try again in the next year xD

  4. I love the "The diary of a nobody" edition so much <3

  5. Sweet old books! The covers are beautiful, and look well-loved, too. Enjoy thumbing the pages your uncle once did :) xxx

  6. Oh I love this! I have so many books from my dad. I kept all of his Len Deighton's (I love a good spy novel), the landrover books, travel books and a mishmash of penguin classics. My sister has all the of the Maigret novels in french and english, as well as more travel books. Why is it that having the books they loved feels so good? You've found some really wonderful ones

  7. I absolutely adored of Mice and Men I couldn't understand why everyone else was so bored of it! Ahh good old GCSE enthusiasm!

  8. Love that Catch 22 and The Diary of a Nobody! Rummaging for old books is an absolute blast to check out the cover artwork, the font inside the book, and of course that old book smell.

  9. You scored some great finds on your Uncle's shelves - the great thing about that is these books hold a lot of memories and so that makes them even more special. Do they have that wonderful old book smell? I just love that.
    Bits & Bobs

  10. Wow! Some of these are so gorgeous :) I love used books and used book shops particularly. You find the oddest editions for such ridiculous prices. I picked up a handful of really early print James Bond books for about 20p each once! You did a good job picking these from your uncle's shelves x

    Megan /

  11. Those covers! I die. This is an amazing selection! xx

  12. Oh, I love old books so much. The covers are lovely! You made out with some great picks. It makes me wish more of my family were readers. My grandma liked to read, but she read nothing but cheesy romance novels. They have nice covers, but they're not up my alley at all.

  13. What an incredible haul, you lucky thing! I love the covers of the old Penguins - so collectable. Bet they smell amazing when you flip through them!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

  14. Aren't second hand/vintage book covers gorgeous? The old Penguin covers are especially amazing. Lucky you scoring 17 for free! Xx

  15. Anna Karenina is a book my grandma passed on to me which I loved.

  16. What an interesting collection of old books. They are always so much better than new ones. Have that lovely 'old' smell!

  17. These book covers are so beautiful! xx


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