Reader, I Paid Full Price


I’m in New York City for a few days so this will be short, but of course, I’ve bought a few new books during the trip. Yesterday, I walked from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Times Square – about 50 blocks – and took “breaks” in a couple of bookstores and one Starbucks. The most enjoyable break was in a small independent store on Madison Avenue called Crawford Doyle Booksellers. It’s a small store, but clearly they know their audience. The selection was thoughtful and smart and beautifully displayed.

I eavesdropped on a number of conversations – only because I knew customers were talking about books, and I wanted to discover something new.  I heard a woman talking to one of the booksellers about an English author named Elizabeth Taylor. She was commenting that Taylor’s books are getting renewed attention and that she loved the novel she was currently reading. I quickly pulled out my phone and read a wiki entry about Taylor. She was not the star of National Velvet, but an English woman who wrote 12 novels about upper middle class English life. Her work is often compared to Jane Austen and Barbara Pym.

Now…the decision was which novel to buy. There were several that I added to my “to read” list, but after much deliberation, I purchased two – The Soul of Kindness and A View of the Harbour. I know they would have been less expensive elsewhere, but I learned about Taylor in a small independent bookstore and it wouldn’t have felt right to purchase them online. As the sign on the front of my local independent bookstore says, “See It Here. Buy It Here. Keep Us Here.”


2 thoughts on “Reader, I Paid Full Price

  1. Hello! I am the bookseller that works at Crawford Doyle Booksellers that is captivated by Elizabeth Taylor. Thank you very much for your post! I don’t know if you’ve read them yet, but I hope that you enjoy(ed) both of the novels that you purchased. “A View of the Harbour” was the fourth book of hers that I read (I have read five) and I really liked it. I loved its seaside setting and I loved its community encompassing narrative. Elizabeth Taylor wrote in a letter that Bertram was one of her favorite characters. If you’d like, I’ll send you an email of our recent newsletter celebrating the release of two of her titles by NYRB. Great blog and thank you so much for the kind words!

    • Hi Lauren,

      What a nice surprise – I was so pleased to read your comment this morning. Since my school year reading is pretty time consuming, the Taylor novels went into my summer “to read” stack. It’s fun to have something to look forward to after reading so many middle school novels! And I would love the e-mail newsletter. My e-mail address is
      Thanks so much for saying hello – and for your recommendations.

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