Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Book Arrives + Mornington Book Hunt

I received another book in the post last week.  It was a Signet "Casino Royale" circa 1965 (24th printing) and is part of the James Bond Thriller 007 series.  I previously displayed a cover in this series on the website however it had a sticker on it "Now an exciting new motion picture".  That cover (27th printing) circa 1967 is now solely displayed in the US Movie Tie-In series.

 There are now three similar covers shown on the website for this title.


Back in the '60s there was an Australian band named "The Seekers".  They were easily the biggest Aussie band of the time.  One of their early hits was a song named "Morningtown Ride".  The lyrics went something like "All aboard for Morningtown, many miles away".  The band was way before my time, and the train line has long gone, but the town still exists.  And today my wife, her sister and I travelled to Mornington again to do some shopping and visit the book stores.

- Chapter House Secondhand Books (second hand) - they had one '60s Pan "You Only Live Twice" and seven Penguins
- Farrell's Bookshop (new) - this is a great independant book store.  I couldn't find any Flemings but I did find 5 Higson Young Bonds.

- Books By The Bay (second hand) - unusually no Fleming paperbacks however they did have one Faulks.  There were also four Jonathan Capes behind the counter - two with dust jackets.  Couldn't grab a photo though.  Not sure of their prices either.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"SkyFall" Released On DVD And Blu-Ray

"Skyfall" was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Australia on March 27.  The accompanying advertising campaign has been huge, the largest for any Bond film for the home theatre marketplace that I can remember. All entertainment media has been flooded, even at cinemas before the main film.

Here's some photos I've snapped from around the place.  I'm sure there's better examples of this in the City, but this is just what I've seen.

Photos of the display at the entrance to K-Mart and a small display in the home theatre section, both taken on release day.  This is probably not that impressive but it's only a small store !

Advertising on a bus.

Electronic security detector covers at an electronic products retail store (JB Hi-Fi).


A limited edition Blu-Ray copy of "Skyfall" (exactly the same disc just in a steel container with a possibly different inner sleeve).

A wall of rental DVDs and Blu-Ray at the local DVD store, all hired out for the night.

 A copy of the poster used to advertise the home formats release.

The local DVD store free in-store magazine.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Three University Book Stalls

Last Thursday I visited La Trobe University in Bundoora for a work seminar.  It's an annual event attended by a few of us from work.  And at the lunch break our tradition is to disappear for a beer at the student pub.  This year as we walked through the campus on our way to the pub we encountered some book stalls, so strangely enough I told the others to continue on while I had a quick look.
It turned out three of the stalls were selling used books.  The first book stall I visited had a Jonathan Cape "The Man With The Golden Gun" for $8 (see photo below middle right with the green and yellow spine).  Unfortunately the silverfish had attacked the dust jacket so I decided against purchasing it.
The next stall had no Bonds, but the last to my surprise had a pile of about fifteen.  I ended up purchasing the "OHMSS" movie-tie in shown below for $3.50.  I already have this cover, but whenever I see the Special Australian Edition of this book I always feel compelled to buy it, although I doubt it's really that rare.
And by the way, I did make it to the pub for a beer.  The others got lost so I easily caught them up.  The beer tasted great too, making it even more difficult to return for the rest of the seminar !

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Morning Fun Run

My wife and I joined some friends early this morning to participate in a charity fun run.  "Run For The Kids" raises money for the Royal Children's Hospital in the City.  Over 35,000 participants helped raise about $2 million for the hospital.  My wife and our friends ran the 5.5km route, while I ran the 15km one.

At about the 7km mark I managed to snap this photo of a large "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" billboard.  Even when I'm running I'm still thinking about my website !

And here's some more photos from the run if you're interested, but no others are related to Ian Fleming:


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Totally Bond Related Day

Yesterday my wife and I had a totally Bond related day, not that it was totally apparent from first observation.  It started at The Astor Theatre where we saw a remastered digital 4K projection of "North By Northwest".  Surely one of the greatest influences on early cinematic Bond, and perhaps even literary Bond, with Mr Fleming apparently once stating that Mr Grant was his first choice to portray James Bond in film.  Despite having seen this film tens of times it's still a great film.

As we left the cinema there was a massive downpour.  It hasn't rained properly in over 20 days so it was a great sight to see, especially for our gardens.  Having endured a record 9 days over 30 C in March it was great to have a break in our Melbourne Indian Summer, although it looks like we might have some hot weather again next week which is good.  While my wife waited for me to run to the car an RAAF F1 Fighter Jet flew low overhead, causing a possible sonic boom which scared a few of the patrons leaving the cinema.  I would have taken a photo, but the plane was way too fast !  The Australian F1 Grand Prix is on this weekend and Albert Park is less than 1km from the Theatre.  The jet was part of the warm-up celebrations.

Next stop on Chapel Street was Penny Syber's Books which is linked the Syber's Books on Glen Huntly Road.  My wife patiently sat in the car while I ran through the rain to check out the books.

- Penny Syber's Books (second hand) - as can be seen above they had 5 Bonds - two Gardners, one Deaver, one Faulks and one Markham.   No luck though.
 - Chapel Street Bazaar (everything) - next stop was the Chapel Street Bazaar where there is everything you can imagine.  In one of the small book stalls I managed to find three Bond books, one of which was a first edition of "Win, Lose Or Die" in hardback at a very reasonable price so I purchased it.

Our last stop for the day was the stage play "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".  My wife hadn't even seen the film before so didn't know what to expect.
 The kids loved the Merchandise stand.
They even had a head cut out stand for the kids.  Not sure who these people were, but it was impossible not to get a photo without people being in it, such was the demand.
 And finally the curtain prior to the show.  (No photos please!)
My wife and I thought the show was excellent.  She said it was "entertaining and kept you interested all the time".    I thought it was great too, especially the car itself.  I was trying to work out how the car flew.  Very clever.  (And a flying car would have definitely helped to get into the City because of temporary Grand Prix road closures and tram track works !).  I know the play has been around for a few years now, however if you haven't seen it yet I think it's definitely worth seeing if you get a chance.  The play leaves Melbourne in about a month for Adelaide.

"OHMSS" Lithograph

I've been considering purchasing an "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" 40.6 x 50.8cm lithograph for many years now.  A series of these brilliant looking retrospective artworks were created by Jeff Marshall for the first 16 films, this OHMSS one in 2001, and all are officially licenced by the Bond producers (EON).  I believe only 1500 prints were created for each film title.

So a couple of weeks ago I finally took the plunge and purchased the OHMSS litho, and as an added bonus it was signed by George Lazenby.

I received it in a giant envelope on Thursday and it looks excellent.  The photo below doesn't really do the litho justice as it's still in a giant protective plastic sleeve added during shipping from the UK or US or somewhere.

I'm now not sure why I didn't purchase it sooner!  Can't wait to frame it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Long Weekend Book Hunt

As well as visiting Moomba last Monday I also did some book hunting in the City on the Saturday.

First stop was the Foreign Language Bookshop where I managed to find a new copy of Macmillan Readers series "The Man With The Golden Gun" which I wrote about a few blogs ago.
- Foreign Language Bookshop (new) - They had both the CD and non-CD version of "The Man With The Golden Gun" as well as a couple of other Fleming ESL Bonds.  Unfortunately I couldn't see any foreign language Flemings though, but I'm sure they could have ordered them in.

- Dymocks (new) - this was my next stop as it was just over the road.  They had heaps of new Bonds as can be seen above along with a Deaver and two Gardners.  It's still great to see the Gardners in print on the shelves.

- Readers Feast Bookstore (new) - one of my wife's favourite book stores in the City. As you can see they also had heaps of new Bonds and all are well presented

- Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller (second hand) - next door to Readers.  No Fleming hardbacks at this time.

- Alice's Bookshop (second hand) - I didn't even know this store existed, so when I saw it while driving past with my wife I immediately slammed on the brakes.  And when I spoke to the bloke behind the counter he explained it had been open for 27 years.  Amazing!  The store is located just out of the City, in North Carlton, and even has a section devoted to Spy Fiction.  No Bonds in stock though, but I will return.

- Howard Bolton Bookseller (second hand) - this store is also just outside the City area.  Every time I visit this store Howard is always busy covering his hardbacks with protective plastic.  And they look great on the shelves.  I was hoping to find a particular copy of the "Casino Royale" 2006 movie tie-in but alas no luck, the one shown above is the Australian printing.  As you can see though all of his books are quality.

- Brown And Bunting Booksellers (second hand) - just around the corner from Howard's store this one had a few Bonds as you can see above.  High Street, normally very busy, was unusually quiet because of the long weekend and 30 C temperatures for the past week.

- Allsorts Books (second hand) - I couldn't see any Bonds on the shelves, but this was the same store where I picked up a misprinted Pan "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" last August so I optimistically did a couple of searches just in case.  No luck though, but this store does seem to have a bit of a turnover in Bonds.  The owner's a nice bloke too.  BTW: The photo above was taken about 3pm and I've never seen High Street this quiet !
 - The Book Grocer (new) - this store is just near the two preceeding ones above, but no luck with a "Casino Royale" 2006 movie tie-in here either.  The hunt goes on...