I vividly remember a trip to a little bookshop called ‘Peakirk Books’ shortly after I started collecting Ladybird Books. I had noticed from listings on the internet that this shop seemed to specialise in Ladybird Books so did some research and discovered that it was less than two hours away. So husband and young son kindly agreed to accompany me to the tiny village of Peakirk, near Peterborough.
The shop was small but the tiny attic-like upstairs was dedicated to children’s books and, at the time, contained more old Ladybird Books than I had then ever seen in one place. The owner, who I recall was called Heather, made us a cup of tea as we browsed. It was heaven. Although the books weren’t cheap (this was before Amazon and eBay increased availability and bought down the cost of common titles)there were lots of them and the browsing and sellecting was delicious. Finally I made my choice of books on my ‘wants’ list, paid the bill and came home – aware of having been extravagant, but having passed a great day (ok, there was also a trip to a local wild-fowl park, just to show husband and son a good time too. We collectors, selfish? Never!)
Well I remembered all of this this week because on Monday evening a man, a Ladybird Book collector, rang me, asking me if I only sold books online or if he could come around to browse through my vast hoard of swaps. And so the next day he did just that, embarking on a journey of about 2 hours, bringing his ‘wants’ list and tiny daughter with him. I made him a cup of tea, he sorted through the books in the attic, and went away happily with a box full of books.
Who knows if one day,he too will have an attic groaning under the weight of Ladybird swaps and the cycle of ladybird collecting will go on?