Better Read than Dead on National Bookshop Day

In Australia it’s National Bookshop Day tomorrow. In honour of this auspicious day here’s a few reasons I love my local bookshop – Better Read Than Dead in Newtown (Sydney).
Better Read Than Dead hosts book clubs where my book club, The Magic Hat, has been meeting for several years. The staff have always tolerated with good humour our rowdy meetings and they always display the most charming manners at kick-out time. After a shift of dealing with the public a gaggle of laughing bookworms filled with wine and soul-food conversation is probably the last thing on earth they want to deal with but you would never know it. The staff are very community minded and help present author talks at Newtown Library.
You can browse for hours and they will leave you in peace to do so – or they will give you any assistance you may require when it comes to selecting your books. They are passionate and spirited when it comes to discussing the books and they don’t hold back on their opinions. I enjoy their staff opinions on books (especially their lovely review for my own Poet’s Cottage).

window display for Phryne Fisher at Better Read than Dead

Better Read Than Dead provides an oasis for book lovers like myself in an urban environment. When you want to escape the chaos of King Street, you can enter the enchantment of the book store where there are a thousand tales and worlds to enter. It’s so handy to spend time waiting for a film at the Dendy or as a meeting place for a friend to browse the latest titles and find a new friend to take home. I always get a thrill when I carry that brown bag home and have a beautiful smelling new book to enjoy at journey’s end.
There’s no greater gift to buy someone than a book. As I have rather a lot of children’s parties to attend I’ve discovered a great gift is a book voucher. That way the child gets an exciting excursion after the party with their mother and can choose their own book. You are stimulating imaginations and not adding to the already massive amount of toys the child probably already owns. It’s a win-win for all.
Because I value book sellers and my local book shop so much I included Better Read Than Dead in the acknowledgments of my Poet’s Cottage.
And so thank you, Karen for all your efforts on behalf of authors and thank you to your lovely staff at Better Read Than Dead. Long may you reign in King Street.

Poet’s Cottage in the window at Better Read than Dead

Here’s a link to a recent article in the Sydney Telegraph about The Death of the Bookshop. I love Shona Martyn’s quote:

Bookstores make an incredible difference and many stores have really embraced the new world and made a real connection with their communities.

“We should always be trying to save bookstores. People who go in, take pictures of books and then buy online, that’s extremely upsetting for the owners. You should support your local bookstore, they need every little bit of support.

“It’s no good standing around saying ‘I used to love that store’. when it has closed. You need to support it now, with your money.”

HarperCollins Publishing Director Shona Martyn

I seem to have had a dream theme running through my blog this week and so I’ll leave you with this strange and surreal clip from Kate Bush. It doesn’t  get more surreal and dreamy than Kate Bush, Rolf Harris and Aborigines in the desert.
Enjoy your weekend. Keep creative and thank you for visiting me. xx

3 Responses

  1. ravenscauldron August 15, 2012 / 3:04 am

    Thank you for your article, I enjoyed reading and watching it.

    Carole Lane

    On 8/10/12, Josephine Pennicott – Tale Peddler – mysteries, nostalgia,

  2. Karen Brooks August 17, 2012 / 10:38 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I have always loved and supported not just my local bookshops, but those in any place I visit. Where I live there is the terrific Fullers, and an absolutely magic one in the centre of Hobart, where one day, I stood back while the manager spoke to a young man about three fantastic Sci-fi books (I agreed with all his choices!). His passion and knowledge were just wonderful to listen to. The shop is Ellison Hawker and they celebrate pop culture as well as the classics. There’s another one in Salamanca (name eludes me!!!) that is clutttered, comfortable and terrifc as well. To me, entering a good bookshop is akin to Lucy stepping into the wardrobe and, after caressing a few coats and feeling their warmth and beauty, she’s transported to another world. I feel like i have gone to Narnia every time i find a good bookshop. Your bookshop sounds like one of those too! Other favourites of mine are Avid Reader and Riverbend in Brisbane and, my absolutely favourite, Love That Book on the Gold Coast.

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