With ideas of putting my self-proclaimed title of “Most Inconsistent Blogger in The Universe” behind me, I’ve decided to take you for a look around one of my favourite book stores. (I hear a collective gasp of “what, two posts in the one week?”) Of course, I cannot leave this shop without being poorer of pocket yet richer in knowledge, but hey, what is a great bookstore for, other than to go into them and buy books?
This place has atmosphere, it’s inviting, there’s even a coffee shop right next door. Comfy couches are in abundance, as are ladders and stools. The staff is friendly, helpful, and somehow manage to keep track of the ca-zillion books in the place. I browsed for hours in search of a book, any book, by Rumi. A couple of days later I returned and approached a helpful person who walked straight up to the shelf where Rumi could be found. (Hadn’t I already looked there?) These Rumi’s were new books. You may, she suggested, look in the used book poetry section (yes, they stock both new and second-hand books!) but she felt quite sure that any second-hand Rumi’s that came through the door were grabbed almost before they hit the shelves. I looked. She was right. Of course.
Some of the books are so valuable that they are displayed behind glass doors, under lock and key, behind the front counter. Other books are valued by their age, the price-tag being irrelevant to book lovers (like me!)
The Jane Austen series of five books that followed me home (or I may have just purchased them, blind to the asking price) are a third edition hard back series, published in 1933, with each book selling individually at that time for the princely sum of seven shillings and sixpence. I’m not brilliant at maths, but according to my calculations, (and some help from Google,) taking into account the basic wage of the day, conversions of pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents and the inflation rate, I estimate the books to have cost the equivalent of $125.00 AU in today’s money, each. Which leads me to a further thought, just how accessible were books back in those long-gone days, if the cost was so high? Or perhaps Jane Austen had reached a pinnacle in her popularity, increasing the value of her work?
Adding to the character and the atmosphere in the store is the polished cement floor throughout all the main area, reading rooms and comfy book viewing nooks.
Did I mention where these rooms of beauty, warmth and indulgence are? Just twenty kilometers inland from Noosa Heads (the destination of my very recent holiday) sits a sleepy little village by the name of Eumundi. The whole village comes alive every Wednesday and Saturday with a huge market-place, making Eumundi a must-visit area for those who prefer the non-commercialized village markets any day over a huge, ritzy shopping centre.
I may have written something about Eumundi way back in the archives of time. Let me check…..here ’tis, and it goes way back to the early days when this blog was just a baby in August 2010. I aptly named the post “The Town that Time Forgot”.
I’ve lost track of the number of books I have read during this year, so I really must be more organised next year. (Note to self ~ add a Currently Reading tally into the side column of my blog. Further note ~ remember to read this note!) Currently, I’m reading “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert, which is the follow-up to her earlier book and travel diary, “Eat Pray Love”. I swear that whilst reading the first third of the book, every mouthful of food I ate tasted better than ever before! (You’ll know what I mean if you have ever read the book!) Prior to that, I read Yann Martel’s “The Life of Pi” and before that I became inspired to read an Australian novel turned mini series, “Cloudstreet”, written by Tim Winton, when my son brought it home from school, being his novel to read during second term of school. I’ll have to think about what I read before “Cloudstreet”, that’s why I need to keep tally….
(no, wait, it was Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal Dreams”!)