Sunday, April 18, 2010

One for the Book Crowd...

Two blog posts in one day? Unheard of, I know, but I have to share this with you all.

We just got back from the Lifeline bookfair. I don't know if they have them anywhere else in the world (they sure didn't when I lived in Perth) but here in Canberra they roll around every six months. And they're awesome.

Awesome.

Imagine an enormous exhibition hall at the showgrounds (actually, it's the same exhibition hall that gets used for the National Tally Room on election nights, which should give you some idea of the size...) filled, and I mean quite literally filled, with tables of books. Every genre. Every format. Every subject. From magazines from the 60's all the way through to complete sets of Encyclopedia. THe first time we went there, Imogen picked up an entire set of legal journals on Australian Building and construction law. They'll almost certainly come in handy one day...

It's just the best fun - wandering up and down the long lines of tables, finding hidden treasures everywhere. And best of all, if you want to stock up your shelves, fill in the holes in your catalogue or, in our case, find a few great additions for your baby's shelves, it's a really affordable way to do it, and for a good cause, too (all the books are donated, all the workers volunteers, and all the profits go to Lifeline)

Just in case you're wondering, here's what our $35 got us:

Seventy eight books. A lot of them hardbacks. Several books which both Min and I loved as kids, including a veritable plethora of classic Australian YA - Kelleher, Thiele, Rubenstein, Southall, plus a few of the more contemporary voices; Zusak, Lawrinson and others. I filled in a lot of gaps in my work collection, including a few books which I'd read to death in years past.

All in all, it's not a bad way to spend a lovely Canberra afternoon...

6 comments:

  1. Man, I could spend hours in a place like that. I get a bit excited when I see rows and rows (or tables & tables) of books. I kind of get a bit giggly. Have you ever been to the Strand second hand book store in New York? There are books for Africa - so many second hand, beautifully categorised, out of date, out of print books, out of love, books. The place smells amazing. Loved that place! You would go completely nuts there Tony. I did.

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  2. I have been to the strand. This is almost as good. I know what you mean about getting giggly, too, Gus - stepping into the bookfair is like walking though the gates of heaven. Except without the dying, which is good, too.

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  3. That looks like a nice edition of Midnite.

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  4. It is - it's not a first ed - but a British edition from 1984. The really cool thing is that it's illustrated by Ralph Steadman - of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fame - it's a pretty awesome find. And it cost me 44 cents...

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  5. Actually - just an addendum to the blog post - the sad thing (from my POV, at least) is how many of the books are ex-school libraries - most of them in really good knick, hardbacks and suchlike, so obviously not being chucked because of being worn out. Our gains are a lot of young reader's losses, sadly :(

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  6. What a treasure trove Tony! They do have Lifeline book fairs elsewhere, at least they used to on the Sunshine Coast. You will understand (having seen our books) why I was 'banned' from attending :) But yes, heaven! Wow!

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