Books and cake – a winning combination

Every year on the second weekend in June, residents in my village of Notton, West Yorkshire, hold a gala. It’s always a good afternoon out for all the family. For me it means two things: books and cake. Notton Gala

The first stop is always the book stall which has a selection of second-hand titles to choose from. In the past I’ve found some fantastic books. This year, despite the rain, I was as keen as ever to be one of the first to see what books were up for grabs.

A quick glance and I began to panic. They had lots of crime and children’s books, but nothing that really grabbed my attention. Then, just as I was selecting my first book, someone knocked the stall’s canopy which was full of rainwater. I got a good drenching, but it didn’t put me off. I made my way around the stall.

I found three books that I thought would be worth reading: Joanne Harris’ Gentleman & Players, JoJo Moyes’ The Last Letter from your Lover, and Sadie Jones’ The Uninvited Guests. Three books for a pound. You couldn’t go wrong. I paid my money, the lady put them in a bag and off I went. Although I’d found something that interested me I was a little disappointed because I wanted to buy more books. And as I said, I usually found some brilliant titles there.

Just as I was leaving, something caught my eye. Red letters on a white cover spelling out the word, Murakami. Now you’re talking I thought as I moved closer.

Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami was hidden away between the hardback titles.

I moved closer still. I could feel my heart beating. I spotted the names of more writers I like. A.L. Kennedy, David Mitchell and Alan Bennett. There they were. On the table alongside Murakami. notton gala books

Without wasting another second I grabbed them all. This is what I love about browsing second-hand bookstalls. I love that moment when you find something you’ve been wanting to read for ages. I was so excited. Two hardback books and two paperbacks for £2.50. What a bargain.

With my books well and truly bagged, we decided to wander around the rest of the gala. As usual, there was lots to see and do. It was good to see that the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of everyone who visited.  After a few hours we decided that it was time to go. We did one last lap of the stalls on the village green before heading to my other favourite stall. The cake stall. And not just any cake stall but Cherry Cakes, Cakes and Cupcakes. These cakes are delicious. My family had already phoned asking me to buy them a cupcake. I needed six. Three chocolate orange and three vanilla. Then it was home for a brew, a cupcake and to start reading my books.

Books and cake are definitely a winning combination, especially for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

notton gala cakes


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