12:00 pm

After walking past the Amnesty International shop for the sixth time that week, I decided I really just needed to go in there and by the copy of Last Exit to Brooklyn I looked at longingly every time I passed. I was feeling a little haunted by Alt-J, listening to their first album on repeat for the first half of the week on my record player, seeing their keyboard player on University Challenge, and then this, glaringly obvious, through the glass. For a little clarification, their song 'Fitzpleasure' is based on a character from this book, Tralala, and there's been an itch in the back of my brain since finding that out to buy the book. And then it appeared.

Amnesty International seemed like that sort of place where they would have a minimum card payment, so I decided to spend a tenner, just in case. Of course I didn't ask. That would ruin the fun. I grasped The Shaping of Middle-Earth to my chest as soon as I saw it, with a Gollum-like growl. I'd recently marathoned the original film trilogy over Christmas for the millionth time, naturally, so it was still at the front of my mind. My Dungeons and Dragons DM played the music from the Shire as my character set out on their final journey. Everything seems to be working in themes at the moment.

I still wasn't quite there on the minimum card payment front. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction stood out to me, as did The Silent Woman, a biography on Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. By the time I had got to the counter and rummaged swiftly through the £1 records as the lady was pricing up my purchases, I had hit a comfortable £11.50, Rossini/Dukas vinyl in hand. Now I can listen to 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' on repeat, rather than Alt-J. A new theme, perhaps?

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