Brattle is where most of my library was purchased. In the 1980s, we lived on Beacon Hill and I worked at One Financial Center. I walked past Brattle on my way to and from work and to and from lunch, so I had lots of time to browse and buy. In those days, they had gorgeous sale books for $1 each. I bought a set of Robert Louis Stevenson, lots of Everyman's editions of the classics, Oxford Classics, and tons of other interesting books.
I was building a library based on classics, with the assistance of Clifton Fadiman's The Lifetime Reading Plan. I used his book as a guide to the best of the best, sort of like the Harvard Classics, which I also have. I wrote to him when he was quite elderly and treasure the letter he wrote back. Not a lot of authors or celebrities, and he was one of those in his day, do that. He's the writer Anne Fadiman's father.
This time, most of the books that came home with me came from Commonwealth Books. They are better arranged than Brattle's books, and I have to confess that I'm appalled that Brattle now puts price stickers on their books. Shame on any bookseller who puts anything sticky on a book! A light penciled price inside the front cover is the only acceptable method.
So, without further ado, here are the books I bought, with one exception. Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life was given to me by my friend Jenny, a veterinarian, artist, and writer. We often give each other books.
The two Angela Thirkell books, Miss Bunting and Close Quarters, and the Beverley Nichols mystery all came from Brattle. The others are from Commonwealth. There are three Nancy Drew books, so I now have all but three of the original (not first editions) thirty-four books. There are also a couple of mysteries by Patricia Wentworth, a couple by Patricia Moyes, and two more Phoebe Atwood Taylor Asey Mayo Cape Cod mysteries.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have books to read!