Tag Archives: book shop

Weekend Coffee Share – 22nd May, 2022.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

It’s Sunday night here, and I thought you might like to join me watching Masterchef. Thank goodness, I’ve already had dinner or I’d be salivating like a blood hound all over the keyboard and the dog blissfully sleeping underneath. Tonight, they’re fusing two cultures together, and I just saw the most divine lobster dish along with an incredible dessert which personified was pure indulgence. Sorry, I can’t remember what was in it, but since none of us can actually sample these dishes perhaps that’s possibly a good thing. Despite the judges’ rapturous praise, we’ll just convince ourselves it all tastes like cardboard or some equally bland substance.

How was your week?

The big news here in Australia is that we voted in our Federal Election yesterday and we have a change of government. Prime Minister Mr Scott Morrison from the Liberal Party has been replaced by Mr Anthony Albanese of the Labor Party. It’s still early days but the analysts are busy. I must admit I feel sorry for people who have lost their seats, regardless of their political persuasion.

Last week for me, revolved around our daughter’s dance performance in a series of concerts featuring young talent aged 13-21 on the NSW Central Coast. It’s not easy to land yourself a spot and Miss had 2-3 previous attempts. So, this was a huge celebration. There’s also relief because she wants to be a professional ballerina, and getting through this year was a sign she’s on the right track. She was doing her contemporary dance, which involved picking up a rose with her feet and transferring it around which doing all her “tricks”. I’m not usually anxious watching her, and you’d think I might’ve been sitting there proud as a peacock especially wearing my fancy new scarf. Instead, I kept worrying she was going to drop the rose, or else would go wrong. We’d had a stressful afternoon chasing up a few requirements last minute and catching every red light in town when time was of the essence. I could mention something about Murphy’s Law, except that her performance went so well, that I’m just grateful.

Miss in Flight

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading a great new book, which I guess could well be deemed a diversion as I’m already reading a few books and need to get back to my WWI research and analysis. However, I popped into my local bookshop looking for a book of short stories by Tony Birch: Dark As Last Night. I needed to order that one in, but as one who has no capacity to resist temptation in bookshops, I had the most fleeting glance at the shelves and came home with Kerri Maher’s: The Paris Bookseller. It’s “inspired” by the story of Sylvia Beach who found the iconic English-speaking bookstore: Shakespeare and Company. It just so happens that I did a solo poetry reading there in 1992 as an impressionable 23 year old. So, the book is incredibly personal for me. However, so far the plot focuses around James Joyce and the banning of Ulysses, which feels quite relevant these days with what’s been going on in many political circles. I also finished Irish philosopher, Michael Harding’s: A Cloud Where The Birds Rise. It’s made up of excerpts from his reflection on life published via his weekly column in the Irish Times.

My Poetry Reading Shakespeare & Company Bookshop, Paris 1992.

In other news here, we’re trying to have some kind of radical clean-up. I don’t really like the term “declutter”, which is just so dismissive and disrespectful about your precious treasures. An excess of books, for example, is not clutter. It’s inspiration, education, transformation all within those printed pages, and in too many cases, too difficult to part with. However, at least I’m getting through a few books atm, but I don’t think I’ll be able to part with any of these They’re all keepers! Yet, I at least had some success in the bathroom and cleared out a garbage bag of potions and Miss has thrown out four bags of stuff from her room. All of that barely scratches the surface, but it’s progress.

Feet and Shadows at the Beach last week.

Lastly, Miss and I went for a few brief visits to the beach to destress last week. Couldn’t resist photographing our feet in front of the view.

We also spotted some inspirational words painted onto rocks at the far end of the beach:

Well, that’s all folks.

This is another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Natalie the Explorer at: https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Best wishes,

Rowena

Succumbed to Temptation – A Book Addict’s Paradise.

Every Easter, there’s the local Pearl Beach Book Sale, and for a book addict like yours truly, it’s up there on a temptation level right alongside a chocolate shop. Moreover, since all the Easter eggs had virtually sold out by Thursday according to my husband, feasting on books it is.

The other drawcard about this Pearl Beach Book Sale is that the books are top notch. Pearl Beach is a rather exclusive retreat, and attracts a lot of creative people, who seem to have great taste in reading material.

Pearl Beach

While I’ve posted photos before of glorious Pearl Beach, today I’m going to delve a little deeper into the human aspect. Pearl Beach or “Pearlie” is 92 kilometres from Sydney on the NSW Central Coast. However, it has in effect become something of an island separated from the hubbub of the Central Coast via a steep, windy road cutting down through scrubby hills, creating the illusion you’ve escaped the rat trace entirely. That said, they’re not roughing it too much, because they can still access modern conveniences at nearby Umina Beach where we live. Umina Beach has traditionally been Pearl Beach on a beer budget, although it looks like we’re starting to join the champagne set as well for better or worse. We have been discovered. Sometimes, I wonder if this has been a blessing or a curse. There never used to be a traffic jam within cooeee of here. Now, over this Easter weekend, I can barely turn left or right without getting stuck. Good grief. Please don’t let us become another Byron Bay where locals burrow underground during peak holiday seasons. Or, fortunately being a stone’s throw to the beach and shops ourselves, it will just become much easier to walk.

Anyway, as you might’ve gathered, having yours truly let loose all by myself at this book sale might not have been a good thing. Indeed, it was a book addict’s equivalent of a mad orgy. I should’ve taken a photo of the hall all set up in its glory. However, I was too focused on digging in and devouring titles to even think about photography. Besides, I had my arms full. Not good for someone with a dodgy foot and still recovering from Thursday’s fall and feeling rather unstable. However, the very nice man at the desk was only too kind, and let me deposit my stash in the corner. I bet he was pleased to see me coming, and not just for the money either. They have to move all the leftover books, which no doubt posed a daunting task.

I arrived mid-afternoon, and I don’t know how much the books were at the outset, but I was paying $2.00 each. Of course, this was an absolute steal. So, it didn’t make too much sense to be too selective. It was more a case of fill a box, another box, and while you’re thinking about it, why don’t you fill this one too.

The irony of all this was that I’m actually in the process of seriously downsizing our book collection, and the boot of the very same car I drove to the book sale, was full of books I’m planning to drop off for the next book sale at the local PCYC which my friend is helping out with. There’s also a box on the couch at home which I’m trying to fill up, and despatch.

Another issue is that I am not a voracious book reader. I read a lot doing my history research. However, that’s mainly involved old newspapers online. I also read blog posts. I also do a few Bible studies and try to read my Bible daily. So, it’s not like I’m not reading at all. I’m just not one of those people who polish off a couple of novels a week. Geoff was doing that without any dramas when he was commuting to work on the train. However, he’s been working from home for the last two years. So, he’s reading has dropped off a lot. He’s just finished reading a Harlan Coben novel: Hold Tight. Have you read it? We’ve been making our way through a few TV series based on his novels. I mostly love them, although there was one that I felt had too much violence, and was just too seedy. I managed to pick up another Harben Coben at the book sale: Just One Look.

So, turns out I’ve brought home 38 friends to join let’s just say a considerable library. It all sounds rather erudite. However, one actually needs to read the books to inhale their wisdom and stories. Looking at the covers doesn’t help. Indeed, when I mentioned I probably wouldn’t get around to reading them all, the bloke at the desk said he wondered how many of the books sold were going to be read. It’s yet another classic case of good intentions.

Pictured with prolific and best-selling author Thomas & daughter and fellow author, Meg Keneally, at an author lunch, at Pearl Beach Hall.

In case you’re wondering what I’ve runaway with, there are two novels by Australian author Thomas Keneally who wrote Shindler’s List: The Daughters of Mars set in WWI and A River Town. I’ve read quite a few of his novels and went to a author’s lunch with him and his daughter actually at the Pearl Beach Hall. These will go well with his autobiography which I bought new recently: A Bloody Good Rant. Considering I got about 15 books at the book sale for the price of one, I’d better read that biography tout de suite. That reminds me I also bought another biography recently, which is still sitting on the shelf unread. That is David Williamson’s. I bought his iconic play The Removalists today, and I heard him speak at the Sydney Writer’s Festival a few years ago. I managed to pick up quite a few classics including: EM Foster’s Room With A View, JM Coetzee’s: Waiting For The Barbarians, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and a few books by Australian author, David Malouf and poetry by Les Murray. There were two particularly interesting books:

Of course, all these new arrivals have generated all kinds of stress, and as I sit buried in books in my chair, I might rethink my extravagant indulgence. However, in the meantime, I quite like the woman who processed my sale who admired my “generosity”. I corrected her and said it was more a case of greed, but hungrily devouring second hand books doesn’t look anywhere near as bad as binge-eating my way through 38 packets of Tim Tams or their equivalent.

So, it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of reading during the rest of the Easter break.

Do you have extensive home library? Do you wish you were there with me? Or, have you transitioned to Kindle? Or, perhaps, you’re more of a minimalist. Don’t believe in books?

Whatever your situation, I’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes,

Rowena

The Little Red Book Box.

“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation… A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.”

― Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

Do you remember those snazzy red telephone booths from back in the day? Well, that’s what I thought of, when I stumbled across the little red book box at our local park. It was drop dead gorgeous. Indeed, to be perfectly honest, I wanted to take it home with me…along with the book. Designed to withstand the weather, it houses an arm full of books. The concept is, that you take a book and leave a book. So, it operates as a free, community-minded, book exchange.

DSC_5765

How good is that?!!

Well, I guess the system is only as good as it’s “clientelle”. Like those roadside food stalls with an honour box to leave your money, this system depends on trust. Integrity. Honesty. You need to be a giver and a taker.

Not a cheat and book thief like yours truly, who took a book without leaving one behind. Well, I didn’t have a book with me, and I do plan to drop one back. I truly do, even though I find it exceptionally hard to part with any of my books. Indeed, they might need a crow bar to pry the book out of me.

So, what was the book? It was Alexander McCall Smith’s: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. I have other books in the series, but not the first one. So, it was a good find.

Now, I just need to read it.

Looking at my book pile, that could be a problem…along with parting with a book.

Humph…no one said that it had to be one of MY books, did they? That definitely puts a different slant on it.

Do you have anything like this book exchange system where you live? It’s a great idea!

xx Rowena

PS Just a little coincidence. I’m currently reading Markus Zusak’s: The Book Thief. Obviously, it’s led me astray.

PPS: It turns out that the little red book box in our local park, has “friends”. Known as “little free libraries, they’re the brainchildren of our local library. What a great idea. Sounds like I should be investing in a new trench coat to transport my book choices in appropriate attire. Wouldn’t that be great! Much better than a brown paper bag.