Weekend Reading: Not Buying Books

This week I’ve been very busy trying not to buy books.

It’s not been easy, and I didn’t entirely succeed, as evidenced by this beautiful set which arrived this afternoon.



(Fair warning… I will not be talking to anyone this evening. Don’t even try ringing me. I have Books.)


But for the most part I have stood firm and resisted, despite the pain it has caused me. I’m planning to have more bookshelves built in my house, but until I can get somebody in to build them, all new books have to live in piles on the floor. And the piles seem to be taking over. I know there’s floor under them – but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.

So now, since I’m unspeakably generous, I pass on to you the opportunity to buy lots of books you didn’t know you wanted…

Here are some of the current sales:


Oxbow Books is having a sale of academic books, with some pretty huge savings. Have a browse of the catalogue if you think you’re tough enough to resist.

Princeton University Press has a 50% off sale with free postage. That’s the one that tripped me up! I so badly want the Barrington Atlas too – but even with 50% off it’s sadly beyond my budget!

Manchester University Press also has a big sale. I haven’t even looked – I don’t have the courage any more.

Bristol University Press has a sale on race and ethnicity books too.


I hope you’re either wealthier than I am, or better supplied with empty bookshelves!



This week’s Comfort Classics interviews have been a lovely mixture of texts and objects. On Monday, Andrew Fox was talking about where his interest in Roman trees came from; if you haven’t already, you should check out his Tree of the Week blog. On Tuesday I talked to E-J Graham from the OU’s Classical Studies department, about votive babies – which manage to be both cute and slightly creepy at the same time! Wednesday’s interview was with Verity Platt from Cornell University, who had some really interesting things to say about Pliny the Elder’s response to the world around him. Note to self: must read more Pliny. On Thursday Pippa Steele from the Cambridge CREWS project talked about writing systems via a lovely little Etruscan cockerel (and you should certainly check out the CREWS blog too, which is full of great stuff!). Finally, today I spoke to Stephanie Holton, who works at my old university, about Heraclitus and the Presocratics (of interest to anyone who’s recently finished OU module A330!).

Also, here’s a Thing That I Wrote last week for the Royal Society of Arts, in case you haven’t had enough of my ramblings about Comfort Classics!



This week’s classical links from around the internet




Rebranding ‘soft’ academic subjects – The Guardian 

Facebook bans looted antiquities trade – BBC

Lesbian lamp at the British Museum – The Times





BLM and statues

Iconoclasm – Ancient World Magazine 

More iconoclasm – Medium 

Erasing history? – The Daily Beast 

Mutilating the Herms – Classics Lew 

Hercules in white – The Jugaad Project







Comment and opinion

Rhotacism and the third declension – Danny L. Bate  [new linguistics blog]

Asia and Europe – Kiwi Hellenist 

Ajax and Achilles – The Iris 

Greek tragedy in lockdown – OU FASS

The British School at Rome – Wanted in Rome

Entrances to ancient literature – Ostraka

Depicting writing – CREWS Project






Podcasts, video and other media

Rethinking the curriculum (with Edith Hall) – BBC Radio 3

BSA video archive – Warwick Classics Network

10-week course: Cinema and Ancient Greece and Rome – Mancent

Photo competition – Cambridge Core 






4 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Not Buying Books

  1. Dear Cora I’ve really been enjoying your series Comfort Classics, both the interviewees and their comfort choices. It is especially interesting when I know the people interviewed e.g. tutors from OU (where I’m studying Classics – Latin A276 in October 2020) or authors I’ve read.

    But now I have a bone to pick with you. With your information about book sales, I have been led astray. Like you, I’ve had my eye on the Barrington Atlas for a while but it is so expensive, even at half price. However, I too could not resist The Atlas is Ancient Rome which is beautiful. I’m justifying it by telling myself it’s an early birthday present.

    Seriously though, I’m really enjoying the daily shot of Comfort Classics. It’s ‘un petit bon moment’ in these strange days. Jane

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Hi Jane! Pleased I could lead someone astray – that always makes me feel like it’s been a day well spent! And I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the series. I’ve been enjoying it too, because I never know what my interviewees are going to come up with!

      Good luck with A276 in October! I’ll be tutoring on it, so I may run into you at some point!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s